Four interesting facts about Saskatchewan Roughriders

The Canadian Football League is the highly exciting sports league in Canada that brings together nine teams every year to compete for the coveted Grey Cup. The CFL has a long history and fans in the country have a great enthusiasm for the sport. Many enjoy the spectacle while others like to mix the sporting experience with Bet365 betting information to double the fun.

1- 1956 plane crash claimed the lives of four players 

Tragedy struck Saskatchewan Roughriders in 1956 when four of their best players died after their plane crashed into Mount Slesse near Chillwack. It was one of the deadliest air disasters in the history of Canada, killing all 62 people on board. Due to the difficulty of the terrain, the crash site couldn’t be located for a long time.

In this deadly accident, the Riders’ Mel Becket, Ray Syrnyk, Mario DeMarco and Gordon Sturtridge died. The Regina based team’s performances were hugely affected after this unfortunate incident. The following four seasons saw them winning only 13 matches, with the Riders claiming only one victory in 16 games in 1959.

However, Saskatchewan Roughriders’ fortunes changed after their general manager Ken Preston made some shrewd decisions, bringing Ron Lancaster from Ottawa and also securing the services of George Reed fresh out of WSU. These two players hugely contributed to the successes of the Riders over the following years.

The Green and White made it to the 1966 Grey Cup final against Ottawa Rough Riders. Under the leadership of Eagle Keys, the Regina based side defeated their rivals by 29-14 at the Empire Stadium in Vancouver.

This story might sound familiar to Manchester United fans. The Red Devils also lost some very good players in an air disaster but they rebuilt the team and went on to become highly successful again. They are now one of the most successful football clubs in Europe, with the Manchester side also having the distinction of producing some of the most famous football players in the world.

2- 101st Grey Cup 

Saskatchewan Roughriders claimed their fourth Grey Cup in 2013, defeating Hamilton Tiger-Cats by 45-23 in front of the raucous hometown crowd of over 44,000. It was a comfortable victory for Corey Chamblin’s side who finished the season with 11-7 record before defeating BC Lions by 29-25 in the West semi-final. The Riders booked their place in the final after outclassing Calgary Stampeders in the West final.

Meanwhile, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats finished their season with 10-8 record before they bested Montreal and Toronto in the playoffs. Kory Sheets was amazing for the Riders from the very beginning. He ran for a record 197 yards, breaking the previous record of Edmonton’s Johnny Bright (169 yards). The amazing running back was a big reason the Green and White held a commanding 31-6 advantage at halftime.

Quarterback Henry Burris tried to make a comeback early in the third, but Sheets bolstered the Riders’ claim for victory with a five-yard touchdown when just about five minutes were remaining.

This was the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ first Grey Cup since 2007. Their running back Kory Sheets was named the Most Valuable Player after the match.

3- Fans of Saskatchewan Roughriders

The Saskatchewan Roughriders boast a huge and loyal fanbase in Canada. In fact, it is said that they had the largest fan base in the Canadian Football League in 2009. The Riders’ merchandise sales also exceed all other teams in the CFL combined.

Their sports fans regularly follow all the matches, with many coming to Regina from all over the province to support their team.

4- 54th Grey Cup 

Saskatchewan Roughriders won their first Grey Cup in 1966 when they defeated the heavily favoured Ottawa Rough Riders by 29-14. Under head coach Eagle Keys, the Riders finished the regular season with a record of 9-6-1. They then outclassed Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the western final before beating the same opponents in the division final to face Ottawa for the Grey Cup.

Both teams were equally matched before half-time but Eagle Keys’ side were spectacular in the fourth. And thus, they went on to win the game by 29-14. Their running back George Reed was named the Grey Cup’s MVP.

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