Montreal Alouettes mourn death of co-owner Sid Spiegel
The COVID-19 pandemic robbed the Montreal Alouettes of a full season in 2020 and prevented Sidney Spiegel, one of the team's co-owners, from seeing them in action.
Spiegel passed away Wednesday in Toronto. Alouettes management and Canadian Football League officials confirmed his death in separate news releases Friday.
The age of Spiegel's death was not specified. However, in January 2020, when Spiegel and Gary Stern purchased the Alouettes, which were then owned by the CFL, reports had circulated that he was 89 years old.
Stern was not only Spiegel's business partner but also his son-in-law.
Since then, Stern has been more visible than Spiegel, who has remained behind the scenes.
The Alouettes are scheduled to open the 2021 schedule on Aug.14 against the Edmonton Elks.
"We will carry him in our heart at every game," Alouettes officials wrote in their press release.
"It's really unfortunate,'' head coach Khari Jones said in a video conference on Friday. "I feel really sad for him and his family."
"It makes me want to work even harder to make sure they see the fruits of their labour, to make sure they see this team do what it's supposed to do. I know his family will always be there and they'll follow (the team) and I feel like he's going to follow them too."
Spiegel was the founder and chairman of Crawford Steel. He had investments in Quebec that included steel mills in Longueuil and Rouyn-Noranda as well as real estate.
He is survived by his wife Naomi; he was a father and father-in-law to Karen Flom, Julie and Gary Stern, Benjy Spiegel, and Robert Spiegel.
The Canadian Football League is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Montreal Alouettes co-owner Sid Spiegel," said CFL officials.
"Sid and his son-in-law Gary Stern made a commitment to one of our great franchises at an important time in its history, and they rose to the challenge with passion and enthusiasm. We regret that we did not have more time to get to know Sid, a great man and a smart, visionary entrepreneur."
- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on July 30, 2021.