The War Amps

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JEFF NICKLIN: Hero of the Gridiron and the Battlefield

Duration: 27 minutes, 30 seconds ($11.00) (cc) Available on DVDOrder DVD
First Released: 2007 • Read Script (PDF)

This documentary should get the attention of most Canadians – including:
  •  Those interested in Canada's military heritage; and
  •  Canadian football fans and the sporting fraternity generally.

Jeff Nicklin was an all-star with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and was part of the team's Grey Cup victories in '35 and '39. He cut short his successful football career to enlist with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles. In 1942, Nicklin volunteered to transfer to the newly formed 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. Lt-Col Jeff Nicklin 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 which is awarded by the Canadian Football League to the most outstanding player in the Western Conference.

Sixty years later, the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion Association, The War Amps and the CFL worked together to have the trophy re-dedicated in a special tribute to Nicklin. The Jeff Nicklin Memorial trophy will, for all time, stand for courage and honour on the gridiron and on the battlefield.

This documentary contains seldom-seen football footage of the 1930s and rare wartime images. Also featured is an interview with Cliff Chadderton, who talks about his friend Jeff Nicklin. They served together in the RWR and played hockey for the regiment.

Jeff Nicklin: Hero of the Gridiron and the Battlefield is part of The War Amps award-winning Military Heritage series.


  • Platinum Award (Documentary) - 2009 EMPixx Awards (Sanibel, FL)

  • Platinum Award (History/Biography) - 2009 EMPixx Awards (Sanibel, FL)

  • Gold Award - 2008 Worldfest-Houston (Texas)

  • Bronze Award - 2007/08 Mercury Awards (Ossining, New York)

  • Creative Excellence Award - The 2008 U.S. International Film and Video Awards (Hollywood, CA)

  • Silver Award - 2008 International ASTRID Awards (Ossining, New York)

  • Honourable Mention - 2008 Accolades Competition (California)