Iconic Bombers player, executive Lyle Bauer dies at 65

Winnipeg’s football community is mourning one of its icons Wednesday, with the announcement that Lyle Bauer has died at age 65.

Bauer, a former offensive lineman who played 10 seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, moved to the club’s front office after his playing career wrapped up, becoming an assistant general manager in 1992, and later the Bombers’ president and CEO from 2000-2009.

On the field, Bauer helped Winnipeg to Grey Cup championships in 1984, 1988 and 1990, and presided over the team’s finals appearances as an executive in 1992, 1993, 2001 and 2007.

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“Lyle Bauer played a significant role for the Blue Bombers during his time with the club as a player, assistant general manager and team president,” said Wade Miller, the club’s current president and CEO.

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“He helped guide the team through some difficult challenges at the turn of the millennium and was a key component in the franchise’s rebirth in the early 2000s. Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family, his friends across the Canadian Football League and those he helped through the Never Alone Foundation.”

The charitable foundation, which he helped found in 2004 when he was diagnosed with throat cancer, is Bauer’s lasting legacy, helping thousands of Manitobans with cancer and their families over the past two decades.

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In a statement from Bauer’s family, released by the Never Alone Foundation, he is described as an avid fisherman, a caring father and grandfather, and a big dog lover.

“There are a lot of lucky dogs up there with him, as Lyle was a magnet for all dogs that instantly fell in love with him,” the statement said, “and it wasn’t just because of the treats he always carried in his pocket.”