February 25, 2014
Thieves broke into George Grant’s Annex home, stealing his ring from the 1999 game.
When George Grant and his wife arrived home on the evening of Sunday, Feb. 9 and realized they had been robbed, the first thing that came to Grant’s mind was his Grey Cup championship ring.
Sure enough, the thieves had taken it, along with the sterling, watches, cufflinks and a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal.
The former owner of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats received the ring, along with the players and staff, when the CFL team claimed victory over the Calgary Stampeders in 1999. He kept it in a special box in his bedroom.
“The Grey Cup ring is impossible to value in a simplistic way, but it’s got a lot of sentimental value,” he said. “Very few people have one . . . and when you consider there are more Orders of Canada given out every year than Grey Cup rings, it goes to show you the special value they have.”
Toronto police say the suspect or suspects broke into the Annex home, in the Bloor St. W. and Avenue Rd. area, between 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. while Grant and his wife were out for dinner with their daughter.
A 50-year veteran of the broadcasting industry, Grant was until recently president and CEO of ZoomerMedia’s radio division. He became a founding partner of the Ottawa Senators hockey team in the early 1990s, before broadening his interests to include football.
The Grey Cup ring was a source of pride for Grant, who was owner and vice-chair of the Ticats from 1995 to 2003. He and other businessmen assumed ownership at a tough financial time for the team, but watched as the Ticats, invigorated by new head coach Ron Lancaster, went on to play two consecutive Grey Cups in 1998 and 1999, winning the latter.
Grant still remembers running out on the field with his wife and children after the big win.
“It was one of the more exciting things that ever happened in my life,” he said.
Of course, Grant would like to see the ring returned, but he refuses to dwell on its loss.
“You can’t let something like this stop you from doing your normal things during the day,” he said. “You have to stay positive about life.”
The theft comes a little over a year after another Ticats Grey Cup ring, this one belonging to the late Bobby Kuntz, was stolen from his daughter’s Mississauga home. Kuntz had been part of the team that won the 1965 cup, but rings were only awarded to the players in 2005.
Anyone with information about the robbery at Grant’s home is asked to contact police at 416-808-5300 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477).