David Braley, who owned three Canadian Soccer League franchises together with the B.C Lions, has died. He was 79.

The staff mentioned in an announcement that Braley died in his Burlington, Ont., dwelling Monday morning. A explanation for dying was not offered for the proprietor and chairman of the Lions.

Braley entered the CFL in 1987 because the proprietor of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The franchise turned group owned in 1990 however he wasn’t gone lengthy, returning to soccer possession in 1997 when he purchased the Lions.

Braley additionally owned the Toronto Argonauts from 2010 to 2015 when he introduced the sale of the franchise to Bell and Larry Tanenbaum, the chairman of Maple Leafs Sports activities & Leisure. Braley served because the chairman of the CFL’s board of governors and as interim commissioner (March 2002 to November 2002).

“David has been a proud and fiercely loyal proprietor of our staff, a champion of the Canadian Soccer League, and a pacesetter for whom his love of our recreation and our nation went hand in hand and spanned many years.  We share our deepest condolences along with his household, pals and admirers,” Lions president Rick LeLacheur mentioned in an announcement launched by the staff.

“Considered one of his closing acts of devotion to Canadian soccer was a transparent expression of his want that the soundness of our membership be maintained via a easy transition following his passing. We’ll work intently with David’s property to observe that plan.”

McMaster athletics centre bears title

Braley’s soccer groups have received 4 Gray Cups. B.C. has accounted for 3 of them (2000, 2006 and 2011) whereas Toronto captured the historic one hundredth Gray Cup in 2012.

Braley is doused with champagne after successful his third Gray Cup title as proprietor of the Lions in 2011. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press/File)

Bob Younger, who refers to himself because the Tiger-Cats’ caretaker and never proprietor, is mourning the lack of Braley.

“He was an enthusiastic Hamiltonian and a beautiful benefactor to our group’s hospitals and universities,” Younger mentioned in an announcement. “The CFL and Hamilton communities have misplaced an important chief and champion at present.

“Whereas David was well-known for his position with the BC Lions, he was additionally at all times, at coronary heart, a Ticat fan. Our sincerest condolences exit to David’s household, and his broad circle of pals and admirers throughout our group.”

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie mentioned in an announcement Braley will “perpetually be remembered as a CFL legend.” He added Braley was “our champion in each sense of the phrase.”

“He additionally championed the CFL itself, as a member of its board of governors, its chair and as an interim commissioner,” Ambrosie added. “Most of all, although, he championed an concept with ardour and objective: that the Gray Cup, the CFL and Canadian soccer play an extremely necessary position in Canadian life and tradition, and so they need to be supported and cherished.”

However Braley’s involvement in sport wasn’t restricted to simply soccer.

  • Braley additionally owned soccer’s Vancouver 86ers and later the A-League’s Vancouver Whitecaps, till 2000.
  • He served as chairman of the 2003 world biking championship in Hamilton and was a director of Ontario’s profitable bid to host the 2015 Pan Am Video games. He was a member of the board overseeing preparations for the Video games however was compelled to resign upon being appointed to the Senate in Might 2010 by then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Nonetheless, Braley resigned his seat in November 2013 with out publicly stating a cause.

‘Now we have misplaced our best champion’

He was inducted into the Canadian Soccer Corridor of Fame in 2012 and the athletic centre at McMaster bears his title. He acquired the Order of Canada in 2019 for his contributions to the CFL, and for his entrepreneurial and philanthropic management in his group.

Braley was additionally a philanthropist and contributed $5 million to the athletic centre at McMaster. He has additionally made important donations to the Cardiac, Vascular and Stroke Analysis Institute at Hamilton Common Hospital, which additionally bears his title.

“Now we have misplaced our best champion. All of us related to the Lions have personally seen, time and time once more, David’s selfless dedication to our membership and our followers,” LeLacheur mentioned.

“However his instance and inspiration, together with the route he offered us all as his well being failed, fuels our confidence within the Lions future. The B.C.Lions will proceed to work onerous to honour his reminiscence by being the perfect we could be on the sphere, within the boardroom and in the neighborhood.”

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