CALGARY — Nik Lewis is retiring as a member of the Calgary Stampeders.
The CFL's career leader in receptions signed a one-day contract with Calgary before announcing his retirement on Friday.
Lewis played the last three seasons with the Montreal Alouettes after suiting up for the Stampeders for 11 years.
"It means a lot," told reporters. "I felt like this has been all about me for the last 14 years and now I get to celebrate it and share it with so many people. I’ve been really selfish with family and friends and different things. They got to come up and see a different part of the world. Everybody loves Canada."
The 36-year-old native of Mineral Wells, Texas, caught 1,051 passes for 13,778 yards during his career. He also scored 71 touchdowns.
Lewis holds the Stampeders record with 165 consecutive games played, was a three-time CFL all-star and won two Grey Cups.
"It's awesome," Lewis said of the honour. "Fourteen or 15 years ago, I never would have thought I would be here in this place and I never would have thought that I'd be doing this. They gave me an opportunity and the only thing I believe you can ask for in life is an opportunity. I told them to give me a one-way ticket because I'm not going home. I came out and I did what I did. It’s great to think back and just love the moments that I had here — the Grey Cups, the losses and the wins, enjoying the fans and everything.”
Lewis was CFL rookie of the year in 2004 after completing his college career at Southern Arkansas.
"Nik was an important player for this organization for many years and it's fitting that he retires as a member of the Stampeders," Stampeders president/general manager John Hufnagel said in a statement.
"In particular, I recall Nik's outstanding performance in the 2008 Grey Cup — 11 catches for 122 yards — to help us win a championship. His accomplishments on the field speak for themselves as Nik was certainly one of most popular players in Stampeders history with our fans. We celebrate his career on this day and wish him all the best for the future."
The Stampeders play host to the Alouettes on Saturday night.
The Canadian Press