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REDBLACKS radio analyst and Grey Cup champion Jeff Avery will be inducted into the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame this year.
It was announced Wednesday that Avery, the former Ottawa Rough Rider who now calls games on TSN 1200 alongside AJ Jakubec, will be inducted alongside Jim Durrell, Jim Kyte, Betty Shields and Steve Grey.
“It’s obviously very special to receive this kind of recognition, it’s a huge honour,” said Avery, who won the Grey Cup with the Riders in 1976 in the first of a seven-year CFL career. “It’s great company to go in with and it will be fun to go in with a guy like Jimmy Durrell.”
Following a playing career that saw him catch 169 passes for 2,619 yards and 15 touchdowns, Avery has gone on to become a founding member of the CFL Alumni Association and has been the president of the CFL Ottawa Alumni Association for the past 15 years. Part of his work with the alumni has been his role in setting up the CFLAA Support Fund, which offers financial support to fellow alumni and families who are experiencing financial strain due to a medical condition or sudden loss of income.
An Ottawa CFL football broadcaster since 1988 and financial planner by trade, Avery is a member of the University of Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame and, this past November, was named a co-winner of the CFL 2017 Man of the Year Award alongside the legendary Russ Jackson. He was also a 2017 inductee into the media wing of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.
Durrell’s connection to both the Ottawa community and CFL football also run deep. The city’s mayor from 1985-1991, Durrell was instrumental in helping bring NHL hockey back to Ottawa and was a backer of the Ottawa Rough Riders. Most recently, Durrell was the co-chair of the 2017 Grey Cup organizing meeting. He was awarded the Order of Canada in December 2012 as well as being a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Order of Ottawa.
The 2018 class will be inducted on June 1 during a ceremony at the Horticulture Building at Lansdowne Park.