Family, friends and fans react to Johnny Bower's death
Published Tuesday, December 26, 2017 8:33PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 26, 2017 10:06PM EST
Canadian hockey legend Johnny Bower died after a short battle with pneumonia on Tuesday.
John Bower III told CTV Toronto that he has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for his grandfather.
“It’s been tough,” he said. “One of the great qualities that my grandfather had that he’s imparted with us is that family is the most important thing in life and that’s why we’re holding up well enough … because we’re all together now.”
Bower III said he hopes his grandfather is remembered for his generosity.
“Every step along the way, he’s used sport as a greater calling (to) help others who are less fortunate around him,” he said.
Bower III said his grandfather “practiced harder than he played."
“He didn’t want to give up a goal in practice, let alone during a game, and that always resonated with me," he said.
Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan issued a statement noting Bower’s “generosity of spirit, kindness and passion for people.”
“The entire Toronto Maple Leaf organization is deeply saddened,” Shanahan said.
Other hockey fans, players and average Canadians took to social media to express their grief.
When you were in the same room as Johnny Bower, you couldn't help but feel his energy. An infectious positive attitude and an all time great.— Lindsay Hamilton (@Linz_Hamilton) December 27, 2017
Johnny Bower was a legend on and off the ice. He helped raise money and awareness for so many causes. Rest In Peace. You will be missed. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/XPA1tWEf3B— Kim Scanlan (@KimS3797) December 27, 2017
Deepest condolences to Johnny Bower’s family. Arlene and I remember him with such affection - a hero and a fine man who we are so glad we came to know https://t.co/tp6gSR071Q— Bob Rae (@BobRae48) December 27, 2017
Johnny Bower was a fierce competitor in a tough league. But his greatest legacy will be his kindness, decency and dignity. A true giant of a man in all the ways that count. May he Rest In Peace. #Leafs pic.twitter.com/IJeaoyRWJn— John Derringer (@JohnDerringer) December 27, 2017
Deeply saddened by the passing of Johnny Bower. I worked a few events with him and he was one of the kindest, humblest, and most philanthropic alumni I had the privilege of meeting. Leaf Nation lost a special person today. Rest In Peace Mr. Bower— Peter Holland (@PeterHolland13) December 27, 2017
Can’t tell you how saddened I am to learn of the passing of my idol,hero,mentor,friend. Johnny Bower was one of a kind Much better person than athlete and he is a Hall of Famer Deepest sympathies to wife Nancy the kids and grand kids. A big part of the Leafs has left us RIP #1 pic.twitter.com/wehEXjiqda— Joe Bowen (@BonsieTweets) December 27, 2017
RIP Hockey HOFer Johnny Bower. He was a great athlete and a wonderful person to the TTM community. He will be missed.— WaxPack916 (@WaxPack916) December 27, 2017
Very sad news regarding Johnny Bower. Always seemed like he'd be around forever. Had the chance to participate in, and then help coach, his goalie school back in the 80's. Thanks for the memories, JB...you will be missed! pic.twitter.com/b2M8lbFfIB— Rod Mawhood (@rmawhood) December 27, 2017
Rest In Peace Johnny Bower. It was such proud moment to meet you and will always be . It saddens me hear about the passing of one of the all time Leaf greats. pic.twitter.com/FZjKnAcwkh— Malc (@HACKEY17) December 27, 2017
I know he was a Leaf, but a quick mention of his first NHL team. RIP Johnny Bower pic.twitter.com/mKTgWyoAgi— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) December 27, 2017
Remembered equally for his kindness & generosity off the ice, we mourn the loss of @MapleLeafs legend of Johnny Bower. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.— Vance Badawey M.P. (@VBadawey) December 27, 2017
This is one of my favorite memories. Ever. To be a part of this incredible night.. To see Johnny Bower's number retired.. and to see his heartfelt love and appreciation for #Leafsnation.. I'll never forget it. #tmltalk #leafs #RIPJohnnyBower pic.twitter.com/VcQ5vYFVhS— Paula ☃️ (@PaulaJR34) December 27, 2017
Just talked to Wendel Clark who summed up Johnny Bower this way:— Mike Zeisberger (@Zeisberger) December 27, 2017
"He was the greatest Maple #leafs player on and off the ice of all time. He was such a great person, treated everyone so well. He had 40 years on me and still had more energy than I did." #TmlTalk https://t.co/cMD7RdJ8kX
Johnny Bower was as kind a human being as there ever was. A Hall of Famer in every way. So saddened to hear of his passing at age 93. Thinking of his wife Nancy & the family.— Christine Simpson (@SNChrisSimpson) December 27, 2017
I never imagined a world without Johnny Bower. Can you imagine growing up in Toronto, watching him hoist Stanley Cups and then work with him and become great friends. RIP. #TheBestEver— Gord Stellick (@GordStellick) December 27, 2017
Johnny Bower...— NormanJamesCTV (@NormanJamesCTV) December 27, 2017
Our hero, our gentleman, our champion, our goalie...
Our Maple Leaf forever.
Rest In Peace, beautiful one.