National News

Lions to retire numbers of two former players

By The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER - The B.C. Lions announced Wednesday that they will officially retire the jersey numbers worn by Brent Johnson and Jamie Taras.

Taras played on the offensive line for the Lions from 1987 to 2002 and was a two-time Grey Cup champion, four-time Western All-Star, three-time CFLPA All-Star and two-time CFL All-Star in his 16 seasons.

"I am very thankful to both Dennis Skulsky and to owner David Braley for this amazing news," said Taras, who made 264 appearances with the Leos. "It's a huge surprise, an even bigger honour and something that my family and I will cherish always."

After 11 seasons at defensive end with B.C., Johnson retired in 2012 as the Lions' all-time leader in sacks with 89. He was twice named the CFL's outstanding Canadian and also captured the league's top defensive player award. He was named a CFL all-star three times, and helped B.C. win two Grey Cups during his time with the club.

"It was a tremendous privilege to play for the Lions and to be associated with men like Wally Buono, David Braley and Dennis Skulsky," said Johnson. "Having your number retired is a feeling not easily summed up by words. I'm humbled and honoured by the gesture and I can't begin to describe the pride it gives me."

The Lions will recognize the retirement of Taras' No. 97 and Johnson's No. 60 during a pre-game ceremony on Sept. 19.

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