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Former Montreal Alouettes player Josh Bourke waves to the crowd during a ceremony in Montreal, on Sept. 2.Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

They were teammates for the bulk of their CFL careers, celebrated two Grey Cup wins and spent countless hours off the field together. So it’s only fitting that Josh Bourke will enter the Canadian Football Hall of Fame with John Bowman.

“Life is crazy, after football you have a tendency to drift away from the game and guys you played with but John and I still talk on a semi-regular basis,” Bourke said. “When we played together, we were super close.”

Bourke and Bowman were Montreal Alouettes teammates for nine seasons (2007-15) and helped the franchise capture consecutive Grey Cup titles (2009-2010) before Bourke finished up with the Toronto Argonauts in 2016. Bowman spent his entire CFL career (2006-2020) in La Belle Province and remains the franchise’s all-time sacks leader (134).

The class of 2023 has a definite Montreal/Quebec flavour to it. Offensive lineman Lloyd Fairbanks, who spent four of his 17 CFL seasons with both the Concordes and Alouettes, will also be inducted as a player while Larry Smith – a former Als running back and team president who also served as CFL commissioner – and long-time coach Jacques Dussault will enter as builders.

Also being inducted will be former B.C./Saskatchewan linebacker Solomon Elimimian and defensive back/returner Larry Crawford, the Lions all-time leader in interceptions (51) and punt-return yards (4,058).

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