EDMONTON -- An endowment fund for amateur football players has been set up in honour of a "fixture in the Edmonton sport scene" who was recently let go by the Edmonton CFL club after nearly five decades. 

"The Dwayne Mandrusiak Legacy Fund for Amateur Football will ensure his commitment to creating a better community will live on for generations," reads a synopsis on the Edmonton Community Foundation website

"This fund has been set up to provide annual support to amateur football across Alberta to honour the legacy of a football legend who has spent over 50 years involved in the sport."

Mandrusiak earned 11 Grey Cup rings with the Edmonton pro team since being hired as an assistant at 14 years old in 1971. 

His termination earlier this week was a shock to many who had come to see the equipment manager as a father figure. 

Matt Mandrusiak, Dwayne's son who is a donor advisor at ECF, set up the endowment fund to continue his dad's work in community sports. 

"You may know that besides his work with the club, he spent a lot of time giving back to amateur football in Alberta. As the club will not be honouring his service anytime soon, I wanted to do something to preserve his legacy," the younger Mandrusiak wrote on Twitter. 

"I haven’t told him I was doing this but I felt something needed to be done to honour a lifetime dedicated to keeping players of all ages safe on the football field." 

While Mandrusiak has not commented on the news himself, many fans and others associated with the league have expressed their dismay in the days since.

A spokesperson for the club did not comment specifically on Mandrusiak's contract, but said, "with the cancellation of our 2020 season we have had to make and continue to have to make tough choices. This unfortunately has included ongoing staffing reductions.”