HAMILTON, Ont. — Tommy Grant was a Grey Cup fixture, appearing in the CFL championship a record-tying nine times during his 14-year career and winning it on four occasions.
The versatile running back, flanker and kick-returner died Tuesday morning at a hospital in London, Ont. He was 76.
Grant is among seven CFL players to appear in nine Grey Cup games.
Grant, a native of Windsor, Ont., attended the 2011 Windsor Essex Hall of Fame induction dinner Saturday and was taken to hospital in London after becoming ill.
Grant played 13 seasons with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats before finishing his CFL career with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 1969. Grant was named the East Division’s top rookie in 1956 before capturing the league’s top Canadian award in 1964.
Grant had 329 career catches for 6,542 yards (19.9-yard average) and added 559 yards rushing on 127 carries (4.4-yard average). He also scored 54 touchdowns.
Grant also registered 215 career punt returns for 1,229 yards and had 80 kickoff returns for 1,998 yards. Grant even returned four interceptions 82 yards.
Grant was inducted into the Windsor Essex County Sports Hall of Fame in 1983 before being named to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1995.
The Ticats added Grant to their Wall of Honour last season.
“A Hall of Fame player on the field and a real gentleman off of it, our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to the entire Grant family on behalf of the Tiger-Cats organization,” president Scott Mitchell said in a statement. “We all cherished our time with Tommy last year as he was inducted into the Tiger-Cats Wall of Honour and will treasure the memories of watching him enjoy that special night with his family.
“We will miss seeing Tommy at Ivor Wynne stadium and have little doubt his legacy as a Wall of Honour Member and that of four-time Grey Cup Champion and nine-time Grey Cup participant will be remembered and admired for decades to come.”
Added CFL commissioner Mark Cohon: “Our league joins the Tiger-Cats in mourning the loss of Tommy Grant, while celebrating his life and tremendous football career and our thoughts are with his family and many friends.”