OTD: Ottawa’s earliest-recorded rugby football game

On today’s date in 1867, two non-organized clubs named the Rough Riders and the Senators played the Ottawa area’s earliest-recorded rugby football game.

Less than a decade later, the Ottawa Football Club was established, and in 1898, the club re-branded itself as the Ottawa Rough Riders.

In 2014, to mark the CFL’s return to Ottawa, Canada Post issued two Permanent stamps (Scott #2754-5) as part of its Ottawa Redblacks issue.

The Redblacks were also featured on this Permanent stamp (SC #2755).

The Redblacks were also featured on this Permanent stamp (SC #2755).

Canadian-born quarterback and legendary Ottawa Rough Rider Russ Jackson is featured on one stamp against the background of Ottawa’s new stadium; this is a nod to both the history and perceived future of football in the nation’s capital. Jackson spent his entire 12-year professional football career with the Ottawa team and quarterbacked the Rough Riders to three Grey Cup victories. He’s a member of the Order of Canada, the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.

The second stamp features the Redblacks logo: a saw blade-notched “R” in front of a circular saw that represents Ottawa’s early lumber heritage.

A BRIDGE BETWEEN HISTORY & FUTURE

“With over 100 years of history, the CFL has a storied past and reflects the culture, enthusiasm and spirit of Canadians,” said Lisa Raitt, minister responsible for Canada Post. “These stamps build a bridge between Ottawa’s football history and future.”

Lisa Raitt, minister of transportation, said the 2012 Redblacks stamps built a bridge between Ottawa’s football past and future.

Lisa Raitt, minister of transportation, said the 2012 Redblacks stamps built a bridge between Ottawa’s football past and future.

The two stamps were designed by Bensimon Byrne, the official advertising agency for the CFL. The stamp featuring Russ Jackson and the new TD Place stadium, printed by Canadian Bank Note Company Limited, came available in booklets of 10 while the stamp featuring the new team logo, printed by Lowe-Martin Group, is available in coils of 50. Both stamps are printed on Tullis Russell paper and have simulated perforations. The official first-day cover was cancelled in Ottawa.

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