CFL, Tiger-Cats mourn passing of ‘tough as nails’ superstar Angelo Mosca

Photo courtesy: CFL

The CFL community is in mourning following the passing of Hall of Fame defensive tackle Angelo Mosca at the age of 84 and the league released a heartfelt statement on Saturday honouring one of its greatest icons.

Angelo Mosca was a superstar. Tough as nails, he overcame a hardscrabble childhood and became a household name. A phenomenal football player, he played in nine Grey Cup games and won five, one with the Ottawa Rough Riders and four with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Savvy, smart and ahead of his time, he built his bad guy personae into a  personal brand that was bigger than life. Unloved in some markets, where he was the villain, his stature was unmatched in Hamilton, where he was a hero, and when he traded his shoulder pads for wrestling tights, he enthralled Mosca fans in countries near and far.

Big Ang was that rare athlete whose charisma carried his legend beyond the field, beyond his own generation, even beyond our borders.

The entire Canadian Football League extends its sympathy, and gratitude, to his wife Helen, and children Angelo Jr. and Jolene, as well as his friends and teammates. His passing comes as we prepare to cap our comeback season with the 108th Grey Cup, to be played on the same hallowed Hamilton ground where Ang last hoisted the Grey Cup in 1972.

On Grey Cup Sunday, and for years to come, we’ll lift up the story of Angelo Mosca as a shining example of what can happen when an incredible person and our amazing game come together.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats, where Mosca played 12 of his 15 CFL seasons offered their own condolences to the Mosca family.

Angelo Mosca was a legend. He was one of the most legendary players in CFL history and certainly the most legendary to ever wear a Tiger-Cat uniform. His contributions to the game of Canadian football, to our organization, and to the Hamilton community will never be forgotten. We send our sincere condolences to Angelo’s entire family.

In 2015, the Tiger-Cats retired Mosca’s jersey number 68 and he joined Bernie Faloney, who had his uniform number 10 retired by the team in 1999, as the only players in the 152-year history of the organization to have their numbers retired. Both players have flags with their numbers prominently displayed at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton.