City of Hamilton declares February 21 ‘Simoni Lawrence Day’

Photo courtesy: Bob Butrym/RFB Sport Photography

The City of Hamilton has declared Wednesday, February 21 to be Simoni Lawrence Day, in honour of the recently retired Tiger-Cats linebacker.

Mayor Andrea Horwath made the announcement on Friday, inviting fans to come to City Hall from noon to 1:00 p.m. EST for a special ceremony to honour the legendary defender. During the event, Lawrence will be presented with the keys to Snowmoni Lawrence, the snow plow recently named in his honour.

“I want to start off by congratulating Simoni Lawrence on an outstanding career with the Tiger-Cats,” Mayor Horwath said in a statement. “Simoni has been an extremely important figure in our great city for over a decade and has dedicated thousands of hours to giving back to our community and for that, we are truly grateful.”

“This work includes countless visits to McMaster Children’s Hospital, raising thousands of dollars for Food4Kids Hamilton, his commitment to Hamilton’s young football players through the Tiger-Cats Highschool Mentorship Program and so much more.”

The Tiger-Cats are also honouring Lawrence on the new municipal holiday, hosting a “graduation” party for the linebacker at Tim Hortons Field from 7:30 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. EST. Tickets for that event sold out within three hours, with all proceeds going towards Food4Kids Hamilton.

Lawrence announced his retirement from the CFL on Thursday but will remain with the Ticats as a brand and community ambassador for the Hamilton Sports Group. Throughout his career, he participated in over 500 community events throughout his playing career and dedicated thousands of hours to charitable causes.

The 35-year-old finished his career with 742 defensive tackles, 32 tackles for loss, 35 sacks, 36 pass knockdowns, 15 interceptions, 13 forced fumbles, and 11 fumble recoveries over 169 CFL games, including 154 with Hamilton. He was a three-time CFL all-star, five-time East Division all-star, and three-time East Division Most Outstanding Defensive Player.

Over his 10 seasons in Hamilton, Lawrence played 13 playoff games, including six East Finals and four Grey Cups. The native of Upper Darby, Penn. is the team’s all-time leader in total tackles, defensive tackles, and single-game tackles. He also ranks tenth all-time league-wide in defensive tackles.