Jab Sidhoo loved football. He was one of the founders of the B.C. Lions back in 1953, when it was a community organization, and remained a Lions season ticket holder until he passed away on Feb. 22 at the age of 93.
As the owner of East India Carpets in Kitsilano, he produced a special rug for the Lions boardroom with the team logo, a lion roaring with its paw on a football. He was so into the team that in the ’60s he used to take his young son around to meet many of the players.
“Willie Fleming had a clothing store,” recalls Ravi Sidhoo.
“It’d be like Drake selling clothes (today). My dad took me in as a kid. I was too small to wear anything — I’m eight years old, I couldn’t wear a men’s suit.
“But he had like the hippest clothes, and so all the players would go there, like Bill Munsey and all the black guys would go. Willie couldn’t find any good clothes (in Vancouver), so he had hats, the best.”
Over the years Sidhoo accumulated a lot of football ephemera, such as old Lions programs, vintage copies of the Canadian Football News weekly, even a run of rare Touchdown magazines from the early ’60s.
His son has decided to donate them to the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame. But before he did, he let the Sun and Province scan them.
For CFL fans, this stuff is gold.
The Aug. 31, 1961 Touchdown features a photo of quarterback Joe Kapp, just after he was traded to B.C. from Calgary. Kapp is wearing a helmet without a faceguard, which is somewhat odd given that faceguards were introduced in the mid-1950s.
There are two stories on the Kapp trade, one of them by longtime Vancouver Sun columnist Denny Boyd, who relates how Vancouver fans were split on the trade because the Lions gave up four players for Kapp.
They probably changed their tune when Kapp led the Lions to the Grey Cup game in 1963 and ’64.
Touchdown was produced in Vancouver by William R. Good, popularly known as Bill Good Sr. The associate editor was another legendary Sun columnist, Jim Kearney.
The covers of the Touchdowns are classic, often featuring black and white action shots of stars like Jackie Parker, Bernie Faloney or George Dixon. The magazine seems to have been printed between 1961 and 1964.
It was a glossy magazine, while Canadian Football News was a newspaper with an amazing logo: a punter hoofing a football over gothic lettering.
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