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Roughriders confirm passing of legendary George Reed

Saskatchewan Roughriders star running back George Reed has died, just shy of his 84th birthday.
Roughriders Legend George Reed, seen last year officially declaring the Grey Cup Festival open. Reed died Sunday just short of his 84th birthday.

REGINA - The Saskatchewan Roughriders have confirmed that one of their greatest players of all time, running back Geroge Reed, has died Sunday, 

Reed died just one day before his 84th birthday. 

Among his accomplishments, as outlined in the Roughriders' news release:

13 years with the Roughriders, retiring as the game’s all-time leading rusher with 16,116 rushing yards and 134 career rushing touchdowns. He also registered a CFL-record 11 1,000-plus-yards seasons;

A nine-time CFL all-star, 10-time West all-star and played in five consecutive all-star games from 1970-74; 

Schenley Award winner in 1965 after a franchise-record 1,768 yard season;

Grey Cup Champion in 1966;

President of the CFL Player's Association;

Member of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame, Canadian Football Hall of Fame, the State of Washington Hall of Fame, Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, and the Plaza of Honour.

Reed has remained visible and active in the community. Reed was in the old Mosaic Stadium to witness the 2013 Grey Cup triumph. Last year, Reed was on hand to open the 2022 Grey Cup Festival. 

Also last year, an original play about Reed's life and career, titled "#34," ran at the Globe Theatre.

Roughriders President Craig Reynolds is due to speak to the media on Reed's passing on Monday, but in the meantime he has issued this statement:

“George Reed was a giant in life, not only for the Roughriders, but in the Saskatchewan community and across the entire CFL. His strength and tenacity on the field was matched only by his compassion and dedication off of it. George made our province and the CFL a better place and I know I speak on behalf of all of Rider Nation when I say we will miss him deeply. It was an honour to have him in our life.”  

Roughriders general manager Jeremy O'Day has issued this statement:

“In George Reed, the Roughriders had a legend in its midst, a role model and an example of what it meant to be a true professional. To be able to spend time with George throughout my time in Saskatchewan was a blessing and provided me, as well as our staff, players and coaches a great source of inspiration. There will never be another #34.” 

George’s daughter, Georgette Reed, issued this statement:

“It was my dad’s immense honour to be part of the Saskatchewan community and to call it home for so many years. 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. Playing for the Roughriders was one of my dad’s greatest joys and we will never forget the love he and our entire family received from the people here until the very end. I know my dad’s legacy will live on in the hearts of Rider Nation, as well as our own. We will all miss him so very much.” 

The Roughriders say there will be plans honour Reed’s legacy in the coming days.

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