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George Springate, a star in football, politics and law, dead at 81 – Montreal

George Springate, a renowned football player, teacher, police officer, judge, journalist and former politician at Quebec’s National Assembly, has died at the age of 81.

His illustrious life began in Montreal on May 12, 1938. After studying at Montreal High School, Springate went on to study psychology at Sir George Williams University before earning a law degree from McGill University in 1968.

During the course of his life, Springate wore many hats. He served as a police officer in Montreal from 1958 to 1969 before taking on a law career at the Franklin and Franklin law firm.

After playing for the McGill Redmen, the athlete moved on to the Montreal Alouettes for three seasons. He was part of the winning lineup that snagged a Grey Cup in 1970.

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Aside from his life on the field, Springate also had a passion for provincial politics. He served as a Quebec Liberal MNA for the St. Anne riding after being elected in 1970 and again in 1973. He then represented the riding of Westmount in 1976.

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In 1981, he chose to step away from politics. Springate went on to work as a journalist in Montreal, where he wrote columns for the Westmount Examiner and worked at CBC Montreal as a sports commentator.

Springate became a federal citizenship judge in 1999 and a senior judge in 2006. He also taught law at McGill and John Abbott College until 2008.

Communities in Montreal and across Quebec are mourning the loss of Springate. Jim Beis, mayor of Pierrefonds-Roxboro, has asked for flags to fly at half-mast in his borough.

“For those of us who’ve known this remarkable man for many years, or those who briefly crossed paths with him, know the incredible soul that he was and continued to be throughout his professional and personal life until the end,” Beis wrote in an online post.

Francis Scarpaleggia, Liberal MP for Lac-Saint-Louis, described Springate as a “great and proud Canadian and Montrealer who embodied all the possibilities that our country offers to citizens.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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