Football legend turned principal in Mississauga and Brampton honoured in hometown of Hamilton

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Published October 30, 2021 at 8:20 pm

A former Mississauga and Brampton high school principal, and arguably the greatest football player to come out of Canada, was honoured in his hometown of Hamilton today (Oct. 30).

Russ Jackson, 85, a star quarterback with the Ottawa Rough Riders for 12 years before hanging up his cleats and heading to the classroom, cut the ribbon to open a new football field named in his honour.

A standout athlete at Hamilton’s Westdale High School, the scholarly Jackson turned to the Canadian Football League (CFL) after graduating from McMaster University in 1958 and went on to a legendary career where he led the Rough Riders to three Grey Cups and earned several awards for his outstanding play.

When he retired from the game many considered him to be the country’s greatest player, an honour that some Canadian football watchers still would be hard pressed to deny.

After playing, Jackson coached the Toronto Argonauts in 1975 and 1976 before returning to the academic world where he continued to make his mark working his way up to principal at secondary schools Brampton Centennial and later in Mississauga at T. L. Kennedy then John Fraser where he became that high school’s first principal in 1990.

Since his retirement, Jackson has received several honours including the Order of Canada and induction into the CFL Hall of Fame and the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame.

Today’s official park naming is just another in a long-list of accolades for Jackson.

The long-delayed the field is located in Hamilton at West 5th St. between Stone Church Rd. and Rymal Rd.

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