Former Riders star lineman Al Benecick dies at 78

Roughriders quarterback Kevin Glenn, centre, runs the ball against the Montreal Alouettes during a recent game in Saskatchewan. (Mark Taylor/CP)

REGINA – Al Benecick, who spent 10 seasons as an offensive lineman with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, has died. He was 78.

Benecick died Tuesday in Tallahassee, Fla., the CFL club said Wednesday in a release. There was no immediate word on the cause of death.

Benecick joined the Roughriders in 1959 after spending training camp with the Philadelphia Eagles. Known for his reliability and toughness, the Syracuse University grad played offensive guard and tackle during his time with Saskatchewan.

He received four Western all-star nominations (1963-66) and three CFL all-star nods (1964-66). The Canadian Football Hall of Famer also helped the Roughriders win the Grey Cup in 1966.

Benecick played four games for the Edmonton Eskimos in 1969 before deciding to retire.

He was inducted into the Riders’ Plaza of Honour in 1991. Funeral arrangements weren’t immediately released.

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