Born: April 5, 1947 (Calgary, Alberta)
Died: October 31, 2014 (Palm Springs, California)
John Forzani won a Grey Cup with the Calgary Stampeders in 1971 and later founded a sporting goods chain. He bought the CFL team with other businessmen in 2005, winning a Grey Cup championship as a co-owner three years later.
Forzani was one of three brothers who played together with the Stampeders in the 1970s. The 6-foot-2, 245-pound guard played on the offensive line in Calgary for six seasons, joining older brother Joe on the roster in 1971. Younger brother Tom made the team two years later. All three Forzanis attended Utah State.
John Forzani, who graduated with a business degree, opened a sporting goods store, which became the foundation of The Forzani Group, which grew to include 500 stores with such familiar names as Sport Chek, Sport Mart, and Nevada Bob’s. The Group was sold to Canadian Tire in 2011.
He remained a minority owner of the Stampeders after the NHL’s Calgary Flames bought a majority stake in 2012.
Forzani, 67, died at Eisenhower Medical Center at Palm Springs, Calif. on Oct. 31. He had suffered a heart attack the previous day. He leaves his wife, Linda, and two children.