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Longtime Ticats LB Lawrence retires at 35

Simoni Lawrence Hamilton Tiger-Cats Simoni Lawrence - The Canadian Press

Simoni Lawrence is hanging up his cleats.

The longtime Hamilton Tiger-Cats linebacker announced his retirement on Thursday at the age of 35.

"Simoni embodies what it means to be a Hamilton Tiger-Cat," Ticats president Orlondo Steinauer said. "He was a fierce competitor in practice and on game days who will surely be remembered as one of the all-time greats. He has an infectious personality and a pure love for the game of football, which extended beyond the field of play where he was genuinely willing to give back consistently to the Hamilton community. It was an honour to see Simoni grow as a person and to see his relentless drive and hard work pay off as he achieved amazing things for over a decade. Congratulations, Simoni, on your Hall of Fame career.”

A three-time CFL All-Star, Lawrence is the team's all-time leader in total tackles (734), defensive tackles (727) and single-game tackles (17).

A native of Upper Darby, PA, Lawrence spent 10 seasons with the Ticats.

After stints on practice rosters of the St. Louis Rams, Philadelphia Eagles, Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Lawrence made his CFL debut in the 2012 season with Edmonton before being traded to the Ticats that offseason.

Coinciding with Lawrence's retirement announcement, the team announced that he would assume the newly created role of Brand and Community Ambassador for the Hamilton Sports Group.

A celebration of Lawrence's career will be held on Wednesday at Tim Hortons Field.