Played & Stayed

Saskatchewan Roughriders celebrated 100 years in 2010. The name in 1910 was the Regina Rugby Club. The team colours were gold and purple, changed to blue and white the next year and then red and black in 1912, which lasted 36 years. The name was changed to the Regina Roughriders in 1924.

The first known person of African ancestry to play with the team was Robert “Stonewall” Jackson, a porter with the railroad in 1930. The next was Gabe Patterson who played 1947-1948. 1948 was the year the Regina Roughriders became the “SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS”. That year the colours became Green and White. In 1985, black and silver was added to the Green and White.

Football history was made in 1999 when the Saskatchewan Roughriders became the first professional team with a general manager and head coach, both of whom were of African ancestry.

SACHM’s mission is to “To research, find and highlight the contributions and achievements of people of African descent in Saskatchewan. Publicize, educate the public, celebrate and preserve these contributions and achievements.”

Those persons of African descent who have been part of the Saskatchewan Roughrider team are profiled in SACHM Virtual Museum. As part of African Canadian/Black History Month 2015, SACHM highlighted those members who “PLAYED AND STAYED”.

Click here for further reading: “THEY CAME, THEY PLAYED … BUT NOT FOR LONG: AFRICAN-AMERICAN FOOTBALL PLAYERS ON THE SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS, 1910-63” By John Chaput

John Chaput is a retired writer and editor who lives in Regina. He is co-author of George Reed: His Life and Times, and two other books on Saskatchewan sports history.