Famous Burlingtonians

John (Jake) Ireland - Football Official

John (Jake) Ireland was born in Hamilton and raised in Burlington. His genealogy can be traced back to Joseph Ireland, one of Burlington’s earliest settlers.  Jake attended Burlington Central High School where he participated in basketball, cross country, track, and curling. Upon graduation he attended McMaster University. He joined the Lakeshore Football Officials Association and soon he was officiating high school and leagues.  In 1979 Jake joined the officiating crew of the CFL where he officiated in 15 Grey Cups four as the head official.  His final CFL call after 30 years was the 96th Grey Cup in Montreal in 2008. In 2009 he was appointed the lead replay official for the “CFL Replay Command Centre.” Retired now, Jake continues to referee at the local level in minor football serving as a mentor to aspiring young officials. In 2003 Jake was named to the Lakeshore Football Officials Association Wall of Fame.  In 2013 John (Jake) Ireland was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and in 2019 into the Burlington Sport Hall of Fame.