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Sask. gathers to remember Riders legend Jim Hopson


Saskatchewan Roughriders past and present along with many friends, family and fans from around the CFL gathered in Regina on Friday afternoon to remember the late Jim Hopson.

An RCMP cruiser led a procession past the legislative building and through Wascana Park en route to the gathering at the Conexus Arts Centre.

The family was met at the door by two RCMP officers who took Hopson’s ashes and the Grey Cup into the building.

Hopson played for the Riders from 1973 to 1976. He served as the team’s CEO in 2005, helping guide the Riders to two Grey Cup victories in 2007 and 2013. He also worked as an educator for 30 years.

He passed away on April 3 at the age of 73 after a lengthy fight with colon cancer.

Several family members and friends spoke at the gathering, including Steve Mazurek, who was Hopson's teammate on the field and later, his colleague in the Rider office. 

“You know, my ride with Jim was so much fun. He took Rider pride to the next level," he said.

Hopson was diagnosed with colon cancer three years ago. His wife, Brenda, assumed the role of caregiver. 

“We all know that Jim’s here with us today. He would never miss a big event,” she said during the celebration of life. 

Jim and Brenda made a decision early to speak publicly about his cancer diagnosis in the hope that it might save the lives of others. It has had an impact. Demand for testing has skyrocketed. 

“If you don’t go do the checkup, you’re not going to know and it could be way too late by the time you do so do it now, do it for yourself but also do it for your loved ones,” he had said. 

 - With files from Drew Postey Top Stories

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