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The Ottawa REDBLACKS today announced that members of the 1968 and 1969 Ottawa Rough Riders, Ottawa’s last back-to-back Grey Cup champions, will be honoured by the team at their game against the Montreal Alouettes on August 11. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the ’68 team’s victory.
“The idea for a reunion event started with a conversation between Russ Jackson and the REDBLACKS after the team honoured the 1976 Rough Riders in 2016,” said Jim Cain, a defensive tackle on the ’68 and ’69 Rough Riders. “We all felt that since most of the players on the ’68 team also played in ’69, we’d invite alumni from both teams to Ottawa for the weekend to make it even more special. What a weekend it’s going to be.”
Alumni and their families are converging on the capital from all over North America for the reunion. They’ll have a private dinner on August 10th and then, on game day, take part in a very public throwback party with ticket holders in The Arena at TD Place, starting at 5:30 PM. “We’ll have live music from the 1950’s and 60’s, an alumni player introduction, video of those historic Grey Cup games and fans will have an opportunity to meet the players and get their autographs,” said Randy Burgess, the REDBLACKS VP of Communications and Special Projects. “It’s a privilege for us to be able to welcome back some of the greatest players in Ottawa’s football history and introduce them to the greatest fans in modern CFL history, RNation.”
Alumni players at the reunion event will include Margene Adkins, Bo Scott and Canadian Football Hall of Famers Gene Gaines, Don Sutherin, Ken Lehmann, Whit Tucker, Ronnie Stewart and Russ Jackson. In all, 23 alumni will be in attendance as well as family members representing six alumni players who have passed away.
Also included in the event will be Robin Mason Clair, the daughter of the Rough Riders legendary coach and general manager Frank Clair, and Arthur and Ken Loeb, sons of former Rough Riders’ owner David Loeb. Mr. Loeb was one of six Ottawa investors that purchased shares in the Ottawa Rough Riders in 1966. In 1969, he bought the team outright and remained its owner until 1977. Under his watch, the Rough Riders won four Grey Cups (1968, 1969, 1973 and 1976). David Loeb passed away in 2016.
The Loeb brothers will take part in a halftime ceremony that’s been 49 years in the making. Members of the 1969 team did not receive Grey Cup rings to commemorate their victory but they will receive them at halftime on Aug. 11.
“Dad was so proud of the Ottawa Rough Riders,” said Arthur Loeb. “He was part of the golden era of the team and he always said it was a very happy time in his life. It’s a privilege for our family to honour the guys that meant so much to dad by presenting them with their 1969 Grey Cup championship rings.”
Fans attending the game against Montreal on August 11 are encouraged to arrive at the Arena at TD Place at 5:30 PM. A player introduction for the back-to-back Grey Cup champs is scheduled to begin at 6:00 PM. Admission to the pre-game event is free for all fans with tickets to the game, which starts at 8:00 PM. Score your seats for this historic event by clicking here.