Legendary Canadian equipment manager Gordon ‘Red’ Batty retires after 50 years in NFL, CFL

Photo courtesy: Green Bay Packers

After 50 years in professional football, legendary Canadian equipment manager Gordon ‘Red’ Batty is finally hanging up his own jersey.

The Green Bay Packers, with whom Batty spent the last 30 seasons, announced his retirement on Thursday at the age of 64.

“On behalf of the Packers, I want to thank Red for all of his hard work and dedication to the organization,” executive vice president and director of football operations Russ Ball said in a statement. “With his vast knowledge in his field and immense pride in his work, he kept the players and staff well taken care of both on and off the field. We wish him and his family the very best in the future.”

A native of Montreal, Batty got his start with the Alouettes when he was just 13 years old, forced to clean stadium gutters by then-general manager Bob Geary as a punishment for hopping the fence at the Autostade. He was quickly taken under the wing of several players and became an official equipment assistant the following year in 1974, remaining with the team for six seasons. He helped the team to Grey Cup victories in ’74 and ’77, earning promotion to head equipment manager after graduating high school in 1978.

In 1981, based on the recommendation of Joe Galat, Batty made the jump to the NFL and was hired by the Houston Oilers. He spent 13 seasons with that team before moving to the Packers, with whom he has been most closely associated for three decades. During his tenure, the team made the playoffs 22 times and won 15 division crowns, three NFC titles, and two Super Bowls (XXXI and XLV). He claims to be the first native-born Canadian staff member to hold championship rings in both the NFL and CFL.

Batty has worked 683 regular season NFL games, 53 postseason contests, and six Pro Bowls, as well as assisting in several NHL Winter Classic and Stadium Series outdoor games. Notable players he has outfitted in his career include CFL legends like Peter Dalla Riva, Wally Buono, Don Sweet, Larry Smith, and Junior Ah You, as well as NFL icons like Ken Stabler, Warren Moon, Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers, Earl Campbell, Bruce Mathews, Mike Munchak, Reggie White, and Charles Woodson.