George Montani Death, Obituary – We regret to inform you of the demise of George Montani, a good friend. George was one of the most loyal players to ever don our stripes, both on and off the field.
In 2014, George (center), a lifelong HFOA member, was recognized and given a plaque for his efforts in collegiate football before a game at McMaster. This practice will continue in honor of George’s sincere belief in the brotherhood that exists among HFOA members.
He was constantly thinking of new approaches to interact with us off the field of play. The poem “Mr. Referee,” which was one of George’s most significant contributions, is commemorated on our EMS Trophy. While on a flight, George wrote this while pondering why he officiated football games.
It demonstrates how seriously George regarded his duty as an official and the true motivation behind what he did—something we all do. It is told from the viewpoint of a little child who is playing the game. The HFOA retired George’s number 52 jersey in 2014 in recognition of his great contributions to the organization.
George served as an official for the Ontario University Athletic Association for a sizable period of time. He worked a number of Yates Bowls, Mitchell Bowls, Uteck Bowls, and Churchill Bowls in addition to three Vanier Cups.
The most recent of them occurred in 2011 when McMaster triumphed against Laval in what is regarded as the best Canadian Amateur Football game ever played. His foul for illegally interfering with a loose ball brought attention to his performance on the field and served as a reminder to everyone as to why he was selected for that particular game.
In the article from October 2014 in The Spectator, George expresses his thoughts on his life and the game in his own words. The essay was published soon after George was found to have dementia, which ultimately led to his death.
We are grateful to George for everything he has done for the football game in general and for us specifically. We will never forget you or how much we miss you. Please wait, my dear friend.