January 4, 2013

CFL mourns loss of Bruce Smith



TORONTO —  Defensive lineman Bruce Smith, who earned a Grey Cup ring with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats before finishing his CFL career with the Toronto Argonauts, has died at the age of 63.

The Argos confirmed Friday that Smith passed away Thursday morning in a Toronto hospital.

Smith had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

The Texas native began his CFL career with Hamilton in 1972 and was a member of the Ticats’ Grey Cup-winning squad that season.

Smith then spent time with Edmonton and Ottawa before arriving in Toronto in 1976.

He played four seasons with the Argos (1976-’79) before retiring.

Although Toronto posted losing records in each of the four years Smith was there, he and fellow teammates Granville (Granny) Liggins and Ecomet Burley helped anchor the team’s “Dirty Dozen” defence, a unit that despite the squad’s losing ways was still one of the CFL’s best.

Smith is survived by his wife, Shirley, and children Courtne and Coby.