EN | FR
Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

GEORGE REED

Inducted in 1984

Member Details

Date of Birth: October 2, 1939
Place of Birth: Vicksburg, Mississippi
Sport: Football
Member Category: Athlete

Career Highlights

1965-69

Eddie James Memorial Trophy, western conference's leading rusher

1965
Jeff Nicklin Memorial Trophy, western conference most valuable player

Schenley Award, CFL's most valuable player

1966

Grey Cup-Saskatchewan Roughriders

1974

Eddie James Memorial Trophy, western conference's leading rusher

1976
Tom Pate Award
1978
Named to the Order of Canada
Honoured Member GEORGE REED
Inspire

Story

George Reed burst on to the Prairie football scene "with the speed of an explosive halfback and the power of a Sherman tank," one local sports writer noted after Reed's first game in 1963. For 13 seasons he was one of the greatest running backs in Canadian football history, teaming with quarterback Ron Lancaster to lead the Roughriders to the pinnacle of CFL success. Before he was finished, however, Reed would be remembered as much for his role in the community as for his exploits on the field. Reed joined the Roughriders in 1963 as a rookie out of Washington State University and won the starting fullback's job out of training camp. His breakthrough year came in 1965, his third season. That year, Reed set the CFL single-season rushing record with 1,768 yards, an amazing 6.5 yards per carry. Not surprisingly, he captured the Eddie James Trophy as the western conference's leading rusher (an award he won on five other occasions), but he also won the Schenley Award as the CFL's most valuable player. Team success followed a season later as Reed and Lancaster combined to build the Roughriders into a western conference powerhouse. In 1966, Saskatchewan led the west during the regular season and captured a berth in the Grey Cup game for the first time since 1951. Thanks in part to Reed's 133 yards in rushing, the Roughriders beat Ottawa 29-14 to win the team's first-ever Grey Cup. Reed and his teammates came to dominate the CFL's west division, capturing the regular season crown three straight years between 1968 and 1970, never winning fewer than 12 games in any of those seasons. The Roughriders earned trips back to the Grey Cup in 1967, 1969, and 1972 but were unable to return the Cup to Regina. Reed continued to be a key component of the Roughriders offense, gaining 1,454 yards in 1975, the third-highest total of his career. Nevertheless, he surprised the club and its fans by announcing his retirement before the beginning of the 1976 season. In all, Reed played 13 seasons, all with the Roughriders, and Saskatchewan made the CFL playoffs every one of those years. Eleven times Reed rushed for more than 1,000 yards in a season and eleven times he was named a CFL all-star. He finished his career with 16,116 rushing yards on 3,243 carries and 137 touchdowns - all CFL records. In 1972, before the end of his career, Reed had been named president of the CFL Player's Association. He retained this position until 1981. In 1976, the association created the Tom Pate Award to recognize CFL players who had demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship and made a significant contribution to their team and community. Reed was named the award's first recipient. At the time he was working with 47 different community groups, including his own George Reed Foundation for the handicapped. In 1978, Reed was made a member of the Order of Canada. He is also inducted into the Canadian Football and Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fames.


Our Address

169 Canada Olympic Road SW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
T3B 6B7