By Joel van der Veen
BLADWORTH — Being a Roughrider fan in the 1960s was, in the words of Ron Bessey, “basically the way it is now — wild and woolly.”
Five decades into its existence, the team had yet to bring home the Grey Cup, even after reaching the championship eight times.
They’d ended the 1959 season with a 1-15 record, still the worst in the team’s history. After that, there was nowhere to go but up.
The Riders steadily improved through the decade, and the 1966 season was their best in many years — a 9-6-1 record, and a win over Winnipeg in western conference finals.
As they made their way to Vancouver for the Grey Cup final in November, the team knew they were still fighting an uphill battle.
“We were the underdogs,” said outside linebacker Wayne Shaw.
Indeed, the Ottawa Rough Riders were so heavily favoured to win that the TV networks had set up cameras in Ottawa’s dressing room on Saturday afternoon.
But the banner headline on Monday’s Leader-Post told the story: WEST RIDERS BEST.
Saskatchewan had its first Grey Cup with a 29-14 win over Ottawa.
Roughrider history was made on Nov. 26, 1966, and two boys from Bladworth — Wayne and his brother Cliff — were part of it.
For the full story, please see the Nov. 28 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.