FILE – B.C. Lions and Toronto Argonauts owner, Senator David Braley speaks after the CFL announced Vancouver will host the 2014 Grey Cup championship football game during a news conference in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday March 8, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

FILE – B.C. Lions and Toronto Argonauts owner, Senator David Braley speaks after the CFL announced Vancouver will host the 2014 Grey Cup championship football game during a news conference in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday March 8, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

BC Lions owner David Braley dead at 79

Braley had bought the CFL team prior to 1997 season

The owner of the BC Lions has died in Ontario at the age of 79.

The CFL team made the announcement Monday (Oct. 26) morning. David Braley had owned the BC Lions since he bought the cash-strapped team prior to the 1997 season.

Braley died peacefully at his home in Burlington, Ont., on Monday morning, the team said in a news release.

He had owned the Hamilton Tiger-Cats from 1989 to 1990 and the Toronto Argonauts from 2010 to 2015, as well as serving as CFL interim commissioner and as chair of its board of governors. Braley was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2012.

“David has been a proud and fiercely loyal owner of our team, a champion of the Canadian Football League, and a leader for whom his love of our game and our country went hand in hand and spanned decades,” said Rick LeLacheur, BC Lions Football Club president. “We share our deepest condolences with his family, friends and admirers.”

Outside of the sports arena, Braley was appointed to the senate by then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2010, but stepped down in 2013. He also received the Order of Canada in 2019.

“We have lost our greatest champion. All of us associated with the Lions have personally seen, time and time again, David’s selfless commitment to our club and our fans,” LeLacheur.

“But his example and inspiration, along with the direction he provided us all as his health failed, fuels our confidence in the Lions future. The BC Lions will continue to work hard to honour his memory by being the best we can be on the field, in the boardroom and in the community.”

LeLacheur said the team would be working with Braley’s estate on a transition plan for the team’s ownership.

ALSO READ: CFL cancels 2020 season during pandemic, ends 100-plus year run for Grey Cup

More to come.


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katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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