Simpson a 'great guy'

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:42 AM ET

Bobby Simpson was much more than a great football player. He was a great guy.

The legendary former Ottawa Rough Rider passed away at the Queensway-Carleton Hospital yesterday. He was 77.

"He was just loads of fun," said Ted Smale, a former Rider who played with Simpson from 1956-62. "He was just one of the great guys to be around. Somebody you really enjoyed being with. He was loud, but even when he wasn't speaking, you could feel his intensity in the room. He always had a big hug for you whenever he saw you. This was just a terrific person."

Inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame in August, 1976, Simpson had tremendous versatility on the field. Not only did he make an impact as an offensive end, he also played defensive back and running back. He was selected an all-star at all of those positions.

Simpson's memory was honoured in the House of Commons by Hull-Aylmer Liberal MP Marcel Proulx yesterday before Question Period.

BOOMING VOICE

"Every Ottawa fan will remember his role in winning the 1960 Grey Cup, just as anyone who met Bobby Simpson will remember his spirit, his heart and his booming voice," said Proulx. "Football lost a great Rough Rider, sports lost a great athlete and Canada lost a great soul. Bobby Simpson will be missed."

Simpson was a gifted athlete in every sense of the word. He made the No. 70 famous by finishing with 70 touchdowns -- 65 on pass receptions -- in his 13-year CFL career that spanned from 1950-1962 with the Riders.

"The guy had talent galore," said Smale. "He wasn't just a tremendous football player, he also was also an excellent basketball player. He was one of the finest talents I ever saw. Bobby Simpson was always ready to play.

"He wasn't afraid to say what he thought. He could be a real bugger if things weren't going well, but that was just his intensity. He was saying things for the right reasons because he was so competitive."

Simpson is survived by his wife Mary Frances, children Rob, Gary, Lynn, Mark and Mary Leigh, along with seven grandchildren. Friends can pay respects at the Tubman Funeral home at 3440 Richmond Rd. from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. today. The funeral is at 11 a.m. tomorrow in the chapel.


Videos

Photos