2 Rider greats honoured with statues at new Mosaic Stadium
George Reed and Ron Lancaster given special spot at the Riders' new home
The Saskatchewan Roughriders are honouring two of their most legendary players with a place of pride at the new Mosaic Stadium.
On Labour Day weekend, known in Saskatchewan for the Labour Day Classic against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the football club revealed two statues to honour former running back George Reed and late quarterback Ron Lancaster.
The pair played with the team in the 1960s and '70s and both still hold records in the CFL.
The statues were unveiled in front of dozens of fans on Saturday. It was also 77-year-old Reed's first glimpse of his likeness.
"To see something like this here just kind of blows you completely away. I'm very humble and very thankful."
He admitted he had been skeptical about how the statue would turn out.
"It's even better than I thought it was going to be," Reed said.
He said seeing the new Mosaic Stadium, and how far the club has come since he started with it, has been a great experience.
"It just goes to show you that Saskatchewan may be small in size but we've got a big heart and we know how to play football," he said.
The words of a daughter
Lancaster's daughter Lana Mueller was there to accept her father's honour.
"In my dad's words, he was just somebody who did his job. So this….[is] a little overwhelming," she said.
To many, her father was one of the greatest players in the CFL. To Mueller, he was a jokester, a competitive board game player and a supportive dad. She said he would have been honoured but very humbled to see his statue, which depicts him passing off the ball.
On and off the football field, Lancaster and Reed were known to be well co-ordinated teammates and great friends. Mueller said their families even went on vacation together.
"They were the best of friends. For them to be able to be side by side forever now is just amazing," she said.
Reed echoed that sentiment.
"I couldn't think of anything better than to be sitting here beside [Lancaster's] statue also and having him look down on us. I think he would approve," he said.
Vice-president of marketing for the Riders Gregg Sauter, who helped plan the project and unveil the statues, said picking Reed and Lancaster was a no-brainer.
"It's an honour for us to honour them," he said.
"These are the two, the greatest of the greats. We've had a lot of greats here and these two are the top of the pyramid. It was an easy decision."
You may be wondering if Reed, one of the greatest players to wear a Riders jersey, expects a win on Sunday.
"If they come out ready to play right from the starting whistle, then I think we have a great chance of winning," he said.