Saskatoon

Final farewell to Mosaic at Taylor Field won't feature 'The Flame'

Since the late 1970s Monteith’s rigged up a hard hat, which eventually turned into a football helmet, has been seen shooting flames up into the sky after every Roughrider extra-point convert. In 1986, The Flame was a staple at Rider home and away games.

Sandy Monteith known as The Flame is taking the game in as a fan

Sandy Monteith will be attending the last Rider game at Taylor Field as a fan, not The Flame. (Rosalie Woloski/CBC)

If it was up to Sandy Monteith, he'd be attending the final Saskatchewan Roughrider game at Taylor Field as the iconic character The Flame with fireworks shooting out the top of his head.

But after learning about a Mosaic Stadium ban on The Flame after an injury in 1990, Monteith is experiencing the Taylor Field swan song as a fan.

Since the late 1970s, Monteith's rigged-up hard hat, which eventually turned into a football helmet, has been seen shooting flames up into the sky after every Roughrider extra-point convert. In 1986, The Flame was a staple at Rider home games.

But a 1990 accident injured a young man who was carrying a powder bag when an explosion happened.

Montieth said he spoke to Riders CEO Craig Reynolds this week about having The Flame return for the team's last game at Taylor Field. But he said Reynolds told him a settlement with young man's family came with a lifetime ban on The Flame at Taylor Field.

"He said there was a settlement back in 1990 that I could never come back to the stadium," Monteith said on CBC Radio's The Afternoon Edition. "That was the end of The Flame at Mosaic at Taylor Field."

The Flame was known for shooting fire out of the top of a helmet after every Roughrider extra-point convert. (Devin Heroux/CBC)

But Monteith still cherishes the time he spent there and all the memories he made with the Roughriders, including a time he shared a stage with the Green and White after their 1989 Grey Cup win in Toronto.

Shortly after the 43-40 win over Hamilton, Monteith, still with full Flame makeup on, boarded a plane back to Saskatchewan.

"Waiting for the Riders to come home, 13,000 to 14,000 fans were at the stadium to welcome the Riders and I was up there with the players and the management shooting flames to welcome the Riders back," he said.

On the field, The Flame said he greatest memory came during one of Taylor Field's many power outages. This time the scoreboard was out. So Monteith used his mega phone and belted out updates from the timekeeper's table so the broadcaster could continue calling the game.

The lifelong Rider fan from Weyburn, Sask., said tonight's game will be mixed with sadness saying farewell to the old stadium. but also excitement for the start of a new chapter at the new Mosaic Stadium.

"The old stadium, I have fond memories. Last week we were there we got soaked in the rain and I haven't been that wet in a while," he said. "I love the stadium and the football team and the Riders are a part of [our] culture."

Monteith continues The Flame's legacy lighting up the night's sky at University of Saskatchewan Huskies football games.

With files from CBC Radio's The Afternoon Edition

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