Former Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive back Ted Dushinski died Monday. He was 61.

Dushinski had been battling lung cancer, according to Roughriders president and CEO Jim Hopson, a former Saskatchewan teammate of Dushinski's.

"It puts things in proper perspective," said Hopson. "We take our losses here pretty hard and after Sunday's game (a 29-21 loss against Calgary) I was still a little down about it.

"But when I came in this morning, I was told Jim had passed away and suddenly that didn't seem quite so important."

A native of Saskatoon, Dushinski played junior football with the Saskatoon Hilltops before joining the Roughriders in 1965 as a defensive back and split end. He played 11 seasons with the Roughriders, helping the club win its first Grey Cup in 1966.

After leaving Saskatchewan following the 1975 season, he finished his CFL career as a member of the B.C. Lions from 1976-77.

Dushinski was voted to the Roughriders' all-century team earlier this month in a fan poll conducted on the team's website.

"He understood what it was all about and you could see he was pleased," Hopson said. "He was a very, very special person."

Dushinski was enshrined into the Saskatchewan Roughrider Hall of Fame in 1993.

with files from Canadian Press