David Braley Dead at 79

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David Braley, the Hamilton businessman who owned three CFL franchises, has died. He was 79.

The B.C Lions said in a statement that Braley died in his Burlington, Ont., home Monday morning.  A cause of death was not provided for the owner and chairman of the Lions.

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in a statement Braley will ``forever be remembered as a CFL legend.'' He added Braley was ``our champion in every sense of the word.''
``He also championed the CFL itself, as a member of its board of governors, its chair and as an interim commissioner,'' Ambrosie said. ``Most of all, though, he championed an idea with passion and purpose: that the Grey Cup, the CFL and Canadian football play an incredibly important role in Canadian life and culture, and they deserve to be supported and cherished.''

Braley was born in Montreal but raised in Hamilton. After attending McMaster University, he began his business career with General Motors Acceptance Corporation in Hamilton before joining London Life Insurance.

Braley entered the CFL in 1987 as the owner of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The franchise became community owned in 1990. But the resident of Burlington, Ont., wasn't gone long, returning to football ownership in 1997 when he bought the Lions.

He also owned soccer's Vancouver 86ers and later the A-League's Vancouver Whitecaps, until 2000.
    
Braley secured himself a unique position on the Canadian sports landscape in 2010 when he became the Toronto Argonauts' owner, the only person in league history to own two franchises simultaneously. That prompted media to suggest games involving the Argos and Lions were for the Braley Bowl.

He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2012 and the athletic centre at McMaster bears his name. He received the Order of Canada in 2019 for his contributions to the CFL, and for his entrepreneurial and philanthropic leadership in his community.
   
 with files from   (The Canadian Press)