Jeff Nicklin: Hero of the Gridiron and the Battlefield
OTTAWA, Nov. 13 /CNW Telbec/ - With the 2007 Grey Cup approaching, The
War Amps has released a new documentary which tells the remarkable story of
Jeff Nicklin, a Winnipeg Blue Bombers all-star who was killed in action during
the Second World War.
Jeff Nicklin: Hero of the Gridiron and the Battlefield follows Nicklin's
rise as a football hero, including his role in the Winnipeg victories in the
Grey Cup battles of 1935 and 1939. He cut short his successful football career
to join the Royal Winnipeg Rifles at the start of the Second World War. In
1942, he volunteered for the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion and rose through
the ranks to become Commanding Officer.
One of the first to land in Normandy on D-Day, Nicklin's leadership
earned him a Mention in Despatches, a military award for gallantry. He was
killed in action while leading his paratroopers on the drop into the Rhineland
on March 24, 1945.
After the war, the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion Association created
the Jeff Nicklin Memorial Trophy, awarded by the Canadian Football League to
the most outstanding player in the Western Conference.
War Amps CEO Cliff Chadderton, who produced and appears in the 30-minute
documentary, was a good friend of Jeff Nicklin. Both from Winnipeg, they
served together in the Royal Winnipeg Rifles and played hockey for the
As head of the National Council of Veteran Associations in Canada (NCVA),
Mr. Chadderton has retained close ties with the 1st Canadian Parachute
Battalion Association and with them approached the CFL about rededicating the
trophy as part of last year's Grey Cup events in Winnipeg. He subsequently
presented the award at the Rogers CFL Player Awards.
"Jeff Nicklin was a real hero," said Mr. Chadderton. "It was a personal
thrill for me to present the rededicated trophy, which will, for all time,
stand for courage and honour on the gridiron and on the battlefield."
The documentary contains seldom-seen football footage of the 1930s and
rare wartime images. Also featured is an interview with Mr. Chadderton, who
provides personal recollections about his friend Jeff Nicklin.
He noted that there was a very strong connection in those days between
football, the Grey Cup and the military. "The Second World War brought a
format change, and from 1942 to 1944, the Grey Cup went to a string of
military clubs - the Toronto RCAF Hurricanes, the Hamilton Flying Wildcats and
the St. Hyacinthe-Donnaconna Navy," Mr. Chadderton said.
Like all War Amps documentaries, Jeff Nicklin: Hero of the Gridiron and
the Battlefield was funded by corporate donations. It has been distributed to
regular, specialty and community channels across Canada, and is available to
the public at a cost-recovery price of $11 (DVD or VHS) by calling toll-free 1
800 250-3030, faxing toll-free 1 800 219-8988 or by visiting www.waramps.ca.
The War Amps has added a section on Jeff Nicklin, including photos and a
film clip, to its Web site at www.waramps.ca/news/nicklin.
For further information:
For further information: or to interview Cliff Chadderton, please
contact: Communications at 1 877 60MEDIA or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.