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Former Hamilton Tiger-Cats chairman Roger Yachetti dead at 78

Roger Yachetti, shown in a 2012 file photo, was chairman of the Tiger-Cats from 1992 to 1995, and also served as chair of the board and governor of the Canadian Football League.
Roger Yachetti, shown in a 2012 file photo, was chairman of the Tiger-Cats from 1992 to 1995, and also served as chair of the board and governor of the Canadian Football League. Ian Willms/The Canadian Press

Former Hamilton Tiger-cats chairman Roger Yachetti, credited with spearheading the resurrection of the team in the early ’90s, has passed away.

Yachetti, 78, died on Sunday morning after suffering a serious stroke last week.

He was chairman of the Tiger-Cats from 1992 to 1995, and also served as chair of the board and governor of the Canadian Football League.

Yachetti’s longtime friend Ron Foxcroft said it was “a very sad day for football and Hamilton.”

“Roger was a leader. He was steadfast and loyal to his family, his city, football and the legal community,” he said. “Every time we communicated with Roger, he inspired us to be better.”

LISTEN: Ron Foxcroft speaks with CHML’s Ted Michaels

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The Tiger-Cats expressed condolences in a statement on Monday.

“We mourn the passing of a great Tiger-Cats supporter, former investor and executive, Roger Yachetti,” said Bob Young, caretaker of the team.

READ MORE: Tiger-Cats suffer 14th straight loss against Stampeders

“Roger’s contributions to the team will always be an important part of our history. Our sincerest condolences go out to his family and friends.”

Yachetti, who assembled a consortium to purchase the franchise in 1992, was instrumental in rebuilding the team’s profile and base of support, the Tiger-Cats said.

READ MORE: Rick Zamperin: Tiger-Cats simply can’t tame Stampeders

In the fall of 1994, he helped lead the “drive for ’95,” resulting in a league-mandate goal of 15,000 season tickets being sold for the new season.

Yachetti practiced civil and criminal litigation for over 50 years, and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1979.

He received numerous honours over the years, including the Paul Harris Fellowship by the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International in 1994 and the Hamilton Law Association’s Emilius Irving Award for outstanding contribution in 2004​.

He was named the Italo-Canadian Citizen of the Year in 1995, and was inducted into the Gallery of Distinction for the City of Hamilton in 1997.

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