Former Central High and University of Alabama linebacker – and current mayor of Phenix City – Eddie Lowe will be one of 110 former players of the CFL Saskatchewan Roughriders to represent the team as it prepares to celebrate its 110th anniversary. Lowe was selected in two of the 11 polls conducted by the Regina Leader-Post to name the best ever players of the team.
Lowe was selected as the No. 2 linebacker in the team’s history by a panel of football historians – Rob Vanstone, Bob Calder and Tom Fuzesy – falling a single point behind Tom Shaw for the honor of being named the best. Lowe was also the 14th player named in a list of 110 players selected by fans of the Roughriders.
“I guess it is a lot better to be remembered than to be forgotten,” Lowe said when asked about the honor of being remembered as a player in Canada. “They really love their football teams up there. It’s an honor to have people remember you for what you did while you played and to be appreciated. I am truly grateful. Deborah and I still have friends up there that stay in touch. They tried to get us to stay up there after I retired, but Phenix City is home.”
Lowe received 27 points from the panel based on 10 points for first place, nine for second, eight for third, etc. Shaw had 28 points. Both men are members of the teams Plaza of Honour with their names displayed at Mosiac Stadium. Shaw was inducted into the Plaza of Honour in 1994 and Lowe in 1995.
In a story about the Saskatchewan linebackers, Lowe was described as follows, “Lowe established a close relationship with iconic University of Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Paul (Bear) Bryant before joining the Roughriders in 1983. Lowe went on to spend nine seasons in Saskatchewan, earning distinction as a CFL all-star in 1989. That same year, he helped the Roughriders win their second Grey Cup. In the 1989 West final, a blitzing Lowe forced a fumble that Dave Albright returned 62 yards for a game-changing touchdown as Saskatchewan upset the Edmonton Eskimos 32-21. Lowe, who had sacked Eskimos quarterback Tracy Ham for a five-yard loss on the previous play, entered the Plaza in 1995.”
Shaw’s description said, “A 1994 inductee into the Roughriders’ Plaza of Honour, Shaw was a West Division all-star in six of his 12 CFL seasons, receiving that honour in 1963, 1964, 1966, 1967, 1969 and 1971. He was also an all-Canadian in 1967, one year after helping Saskatchewan win the first Grey Cup championship in franchise history. A strong case can be made that Shaw, who grew up on a farm between Bladworth and Davidson, belongs in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.
Lowe finished in the Top 15 of the 110 players named in the poll of the Roughriders fans – entering the list at No. 14. Shaw failed to reach the Top 20 among fan favorites.
George Reed, a running back who played for Saskatchewan from 1963 to 1975, was the top fan favorite. Reed ran for 16,116 yards and 137 touchdowns during his career. He is followed by former Roughrider quarterback Rob Lancaster at No. 2 overall with 58 points. Reed scored 69 points in the poll.