“I ain’t going nowhere!” Ti-Cats great honoured at ‘graduation ceremony’ on Simoni Lawrence Day in Hamilton


Published February 21, 2024 at 2:14 pm


Hamilton Tiger-Cat great Simoni Lawrence was honoured at City Hall today, with another celebration planned for Tim Hortons Field tonight, with all proceeds going to Food4Kids Hamilton.

Lawrence announced his retirement from football last week and will join the Ti-Cats front office as a community ambassador.

The congratulatory messages came pouring in social media:

  • “Simoni Lawrence is one of a handful of Tiger-Cats who rank up there as all time greats. He’s a class act who helped define Ti-Cat football.” – Robert
  • “Great to see the city & the team celebrate Simoni & the years he gave to the team. Enjoy the celebrations!” – Marlene
  • Even the supporters from other teams chimed in to celebrate the day. This from ‘Rider Fan’ – “Enjoy the celebration, Ti-Cat fans! #CFLFamily.”
  • Fellow Ti-Cats legend Brandon Banks also joined in to welcome Lawrence to his new life in football: “Enjoy 21 day my brother – u deserve it.”
  • And from the Ti-Cats Dance & Cheer squad: “Simoni Lawrence Day! Celebrating his time on & off the field at City Hall from 12-1pm + tonight at Tim Hortons Field.”

Lawrence, 35, was a three-time finalist for the CFL’s Outstanding Defensive Player, a four-time Grey Cup finalist (losing to Saskatchewan in 2013, Calgary in 2014 and Winnipeg in 2019 and in 2021) and a three-time league all-star.

From Upper Darby, Penn., just outside Philadelphia (the birthplace of Tina Fey, Dick Clark, Ed McMahon and … Simoni Lawrence), the star linebacker is the Ti-Cats’ all-time leader in total tackles and defensive tackles and ranks tenth in CFL history in defensive tackles.

He was also more than just about football in Hamilton, taking part in more than 500 community events throughout his career.

“He has had an outstanding career with the Hamilton Tiger Cats and has become a notable figure within our community,” said Hamilton Mayor Andrea Horwath. “Simoni has dedicated thousands of hours in Hamilton that have left a long-lasting impact on our residents.”

“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.”

Lawrence was given the keys to the ‘Snomoni Lawrence’ snowplow (named in his honour after a city-wide contest) at the lunchtime ceremony and will be honoured with a ‘graduation party’ at Tim Hortons Field from 7:30 p.m. until 10 p.m., with tickets selling out for the charity event in just a few hours.



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