The CFL has renamed its most important award after former Saskatchewan Roughriders’ running back George Reed, who passed away last month. It will now be known as the George Reed Most Outstanding Player Award.
Reed played 13 seasons with the Riders from 1963 to 1975 and carried the ball 3,243 times for 16,116 yards and 134 touchdowns. At the time of his retirement, he was the CFL’s all-time leading rusher, a mark that wasn’t passed until Mike Pringle achieved the feat in 2004. He remains the league’s all-time leader in rushing touchdowns and 1,000-yard seasons with 11.
The ten-time all-star was named the league’s Most Outstanding Player in 1965 after setting a franchise single-season record of 1,768 rushing yards. A year later, he earned the Grey Cup’s Most Valuable Player as the Riders took home their first championship in franchise history.
Reed was awarded the inaugural Tom Pate Memorial Award for community service in 1976 and served two stints as the president of the CFL Players’ Association. He was made a member of the Order of Canada in 1978 and inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame a year later. His No. 34 was officially retired by the Riders when he stepped away from the game.
The native of Vicksburg, Miss. became a naturalized Canadian citizen and made Regina his home for his final years where he continued to be actively involved in a variety of charitable activities.