Fans and family are mourning the passing of former Winnipeg Blue Bombers centre and president Lyle Bauer.

Bauer, 65, was drafted by his home province Saskatchewan Roughriders in the fifth round of the 1979 CFL draft. However, he spent all 10 seasons of his playing career dressed in blue and gold. Bauer's daughter, Danni, announced his passing on April 30.

"With heavy hearts, we had to say see you later to an incredible human," Danni says. "Lyle Bauer rode off into his final sunset surrounded by his family, we know he was revving the engine of his Harley-Davidson as he hit the road.

"To us, Lyle, though physically gone will continue to be our centre. Throughout his life, he brought joy, comfort, and a drive to make change in his community."

Bauer was part of Grey Cup championship teams in 1984, 1988, 1990. He was also named a divisional all-star and the Bombers' top lineman in 1988.

He was inducted into the Blue Bombers Hall of Fame in 1998. At his induction, the team called him "a take-no-prisoners centre during a stretch of some of the best football in this franchise’s history."

Bauer went from the trenches of being an offensive lineman to the Bombers' front office in 2000 when he became the club's president and CEO. He served in that role until the end of 2009. During that period the Bombers appeared in the Grey Cup four times: 1992, 1993, 2001, and 2007.

"Bauer’s impact off the field with the football club and in the community has been significant, too. He was part of the franchise’s rebirth in the early 2000s, helping lead the organization off its deathbed to finding its financial footing again," the club says. 

Bauer was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2004 and established the Never Alone Foundation to help others who are facing cancer. "When I was first diagnosed with cancer, I can tell you that in spite of family and friends, I had never felt so alone and unsure of what the future would bring," Bauer said in the About Us section of the foundation's website.

Bauer also spent three seasons in Calgary as the President and CEO of the Stampeders after leaving the Bombers. 

Danni says that while he found success in football it was family that mattered most to him. "The accomplishment he was the proudest of was his family, whom he loved with all of his heart. He spent his final years making his grandson Lennon Lyle Bauer (Wesley and Brittany) laugh, building his and Heidi’s future cabin in BC with a lot of help from his handyman son, Brodie, and traveling from Utah, to Calgary and BC to spend time with his friends and family."