March 7, 2023

Family’s Football Fandom Fuels Roughriders’ Peter Godber 

Peter Godber has already seen the Saskatchewan Roughriders win a Grey Cup.  

Now his objective is to contribute to the next championship season.  

The 28-year-old centre, who signed with Saskatchewan as a free agent on Feb. 14, was in the stands at the Rogers Centre in Toronto when the Roughriders posted a 23-19 Grey Cup victory over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Nov. 25, 2007.  

“That was my introduction to Rider Nation, for sure,” the Toronto-born Godber, who spent four seasons with the B.C. Lions before joining the Green and White, said from Vancouver.  

“I don’t remember much about the game. I actually couldn’t tell you any particular play. But what I can say is that I remember looking around the crowd and seeing all the green.   

“Also, I was a part of Grey Cup week, so I got to go to the Grey Cup Festival and I met Geroy Simon and a bunch of the other players, which was really cool.  

“I remember walking around downtown Toronto and seeing all the fans. I think they had watermelons on their heads and stuff like that — something I had never seen before. It was just surreal to see that kind of fan support for a professional football team.”  

Godber is part of a family that has provided the CFL with fan support for generations.  


His grandfather (George) and father (Michael) are long-time champions of Canadian professional football.  

“My grandpa played high school football and my dad played high school football, so they’re both big football fans,” said Godber, who played high school football for the St. Andrew’s College Saints in Aurora, Ont., before proceeding to Rice University in Houston. 

“My dad is a proud Canadian and so is my grandpa. They gravitate toward the CFL as opposed to the NFL because of the Canadian content. They like supporting Canadian kids, whether it’s NHL or CFL or whatever.   

“They definitely cheer a little bit harder for the Canadians and, growing up, they always tried to tell me the importance of the CFL because of the Canadian content. It meant something to them.”  

So consider what it must mean for them to have a son or grandson playing in a league that is so near and dear to the family.  

“My grandpa, who is retired, watches pretty much every game now,” Godber said. “He calls me and says, ‘Did you see this game, Pete?’   

“He definitely knows more about the CFL than anyone I’m close to, so it’s super-exciting to have that kind of support from my grandpa and my dad.”  

Staunch support is also provided by Godber’s mother (Liz Werry), brother (Clark), sister (Georgia) and girlfriend (Hailey Petrunia) — all of whom are likely to become increasingly familiar with Regina.  

“They let me know that I’ve got to get an apartment or a house or whatever with at least two bedrooms so they can come visit,” Godber said with a chuckle.  

“The game experience in Regina is unmatched in Canada, so they’re all very excited about that. My dad likes the idea of a smaller-community team, so I think they’ll definitely make it out to a few games this year.”  

That kind of vibe was a key factor in Godber ultimately joining the Roughriders as part of an infusion of free-agent talent that included quarterback Trevor Harris, receivers Jake Wieneke, Derel Walker, Shawn Bane Jr., and Juwan Brescacin, offensive lineman Philip Blake, defensive tackle Micah Johnson and defensive end Stefen Banks.  

“As a fan of the CFL and as someone who grew up watching the CFL, I told myself that if I ever got a chance to play in Saskatchewan, it would be a real treat,” Godber said.   


“If the situation wasn’t right, I wasn’t going to try and force it. But, in the back of my mind, I knew that having that kind of stadium and the facilities and the fans and everything like that would be a real experience.  

“You also see where the pieces fit in. Talking to Trevor early on and talking with a few guys on the team, it made me feel really excited about coming there. It all kind of fit together.”  

The deal was done after Godber spoke with Jeremy O’Day (general manager and vice-president of football operations) and Kyle Carson (assistant GM) and members of the Craig Dickenson-led coaching staff.  

“It starts with the front office and the coaches,” Godber noted. “Talking to Kyle Carson and Jeremy O’Day and the vision they had for this team and where they see me fitting in, those conversations really made me excited.”  

The anticipation is enhanced when Godber realizes how he has come full circle — transitioning from attending Toronto Argonauts games as a kid to becoming a well-established CFLer who is poised to immerse himself in the league’s heartland.  

“It has definitely been a dream come true, because I used to play minor football and the Toronto Argos would come out to our practices, and we had some coaches who were former CFL players,” Godber recalled. “That was the coolest thing ever.   

“It’s a moment I’ll probably reflect on once I’m retired. Right now, I’m trying to put my head down and work and not really think about how far I’ve come or anything like that, but it’s actually surreal and something you definitely dream of as a kid. To see it all unfold, it has been a great experience.  

“I love the Canadian Football League.”