‘He was a team player in every sense’: George Reed Day proclaimed in Sask.

Kayle Neis/Regina Leader-Post Georgette Reed, daughter of George Reed speaks during an announcement to commemorate her father and create an annual George Reed Day on Thursday, October 5, 2023 in Regina.

Trillian Reynoldson

Regina Leader-Post

In commemoration of a Roughriders’ legend, Saturday, Oct. 7 has been proclaimed as George Reed Day in Saskatchewan.

On Thursday, Georgette Reed said her father was a wonderful man who will be missed greatly.

“He’s a proud man, he was a great man, but he was most proud of being here in Saskatchewan,” she said.

“We are so proud of the opportunity that we had when he came here 60 years ago, to grow up in Saskatchewan, to be born in Saskatchewan, to be born in Regina – I’m from here – and to be able to live a life that you only can get here in Saskatchewan.”

Reed died on Sunday, Oct. 1 at the age of 83. He was born on Oct. 2 1939 in Vicksburg, Mississippi and played for the Saskatchewan Roughriders from 1963 to 1975. During his career he was named CFL all-star nine times and West Division all-star 11 times.   

He was a key player for the Riders when they captured their first Grey Cup, rushing for 133 yards — including a 31-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter — to defeat Ottawa in 1966.

While Reed was recognized for his accomplishments with the Green and White, he was renowned for his contributions off the field. He formed the George Reed Foundation in 1975 and helped form Special Olympics Saskatchewan.

“He would always say if you want something done give it to somebody who’s really busy,” Reed said.

“At one point in time he was busy enough where he was part of 47 different charities and still was able to come and hang out at my swim meets and do all kinds of other things.”

George Reed became a Member of the Order of Canada in 1978 and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 1979.

A book of condolences has been set up in the main foyer of the Legislative Building and was signed by Premier Scott Moe, MLAs and Saskatchewan Roughriders president and CEO Craig Reynolds.

“George’s passing on Sunday has hit all of us with the Roughriders and all of our fans very hard, but the outpouring support and memories have been amazing to us,” Reynolds said.

“To have Saturday, Oct. 7 proclaimed as George Reed Day exactly 50 years from the last time George received this honour is a fitting recognition of a life well lived.”

The public can sign the book of condolences – which will be presented to the Reed family – from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until the end of next week. The book is also available to sign on Friday, Oct. 6 at George Reed’s Celebration of Life hosted by the Saskatchewan Roughriders at the Viterra International Trade Centre. It takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Moe said while Reed is mourned, his life and accomplishments should be celebrated.

“George has contributed so much to our province. He always found time to recognize others and help his community in any way he could,” Moe said.

“He was a team player in every sense of the word. It was never about George. It was always about the team and his adopted province of Saskatchewan and I would say more specifically the people that reside in his adopted province of Saskatchewan.”

— With files from Taylor Shire and Rob Vanstone.