George Reed, one of the most prolific running backs in Canadian Football League (CFL) history and a legend of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, has passed away. He was 83.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced Reed’s passing in a news release Sunday.
“It is with great sadness and broken hearts that the Saskatchewan Roughriders Football Club, alongside its fans and the entire CFL community, mourns the death of one of its greatest players of all time, George Reed.”
Reed recorded an unparalleled 13 year career with the green and white, retiring in 1976 as the league’s all-time leading rusher with 16,116 rushing yards and 134 career rushing touchdowns. The latter record still stands.
Reed was a nine-time CFL all-star, 10 time west all-star and played in five consecutive all-star games from 1970 to 1974.
Number 34 was also a driving force in the club’s first ever Grey Cup victory in 1966, when Reed rushed for 133 yards and a touchdown.
“It was my dad’s immense honour to be part of the Saskatchewan community and to call it home for so many years,” George’s daughter, Georgette said in the release. “Sixty years ago, he received an offer to move to Regina to play for the Saskatchewan Roughriders and in accepting that offer it changed our lives for the better.”
An unstoppable force on the field, Reed was just as well known for his dedication in the community.
George Reed is pictured during an interview with CTV News Regina.
In 1975, the George Reed Foundation was established, which would see Reed spend the next 50 years volunteering and giving back in the areas of education, continuous learning, healthy living as well as individuals with disabilities.
“George Reed was a giant in life, not only for the Roughriders, but in the Saskatchewan community and across the entire CFL,” Riders’ President and CEO Craig Reynolds said in the release. “His strength and tenacity on the field was matched only by his compassion and dedication off of it.”
In lieu of flowers, the Saskatchewan Roughriders encourage anyone inspired by the legacy of George Reed to make a donation in his memory to the George Reed Legacy Fund.
According to the Riders, plans to honour Reed’s legacy will follow in the coming days.