Leif Pettersen
Date of birth: (1950-12-23)December 23, 1950
Place of birth: Etobicoke, Ontario
Date of death: July 30, 2008(2008-07-30) (aged 57)
Place of death: Toronto, Ontario
Career information
Position(s): SB/WR
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
College: Otterbein College
CFL Draft: 1974 / Round:
Drafted by: Saskatchewan Roughriders
 As player:
Saskatchewan Roughriders
Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Career highlights and awards
Awards: Lew Hayman Trophy (1979)

Leif Pettersen (December 23, 1950 – July 30, 2008) was a receiver who played eight seasons in the Canadian Football League for the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He was born in Toronto, Ontario.

After playing college football at Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio, Pettersen was drafted by the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 1974 and played in the CFL for eight seasons. In 1976, Pettersen's Roughriders lost one of the most memorable Grey Cups when Ottawa's Tony Gabriel caught a long touchdown pass in the last minute to give the (Ottawa) Rough Riders the win. However, even in a losing cause, that game was still a career highlight as Pettersen caught seven passes that day and received the game ball from then CFL Commissioner Jake Gaudaur. Three years later, in 1979, Leif won the Lew Hayman Trophy.

After retiring, he spent eighteen years as an analyst for the CFL on CTV and Friday Night Football. Pettersen joined TSN as a game analyst in 1987, when the network began televising CFL games.[1][2][3]

Pettersen also worked at RBC Sports Professionals & Private Client Group as Director of Business Development, managing banking and investments for athletes, coaches and sports executives. He was the president of a chemical manufacturing firm in Etobicoke as well.[4] Pettersen was a founding Governor of the Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame[2] and was appointed as a Governor of Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 2006. In 1992 he was considered for the position of commissioner of the Canadian Football League, but his asking price too high.[4]

Pettersen died on the evening of July 30, 2008, at the age of 57 of a heart attack in Toronto.[1][5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "TSN, CFL, mourn loss of Leif Pettersen". 2008-07-31. Retrieved 2008-07-31.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Introducing Leif Pettersen". Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2008-08-01.[dead link]
  3. "OBITUARY: Former CFL all-star was long-time Etobicoke resident". 2008-08-01. Retrieved 2008-08-02.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Matsumoto, Rick (February 18, 1992). "Leif Pettersen's bid for CFL's top post rejected by league". Toronto Star.
  5. Houston, William (2008-07-31). "Leif Pettersen passes away". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2008-07-31.
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