Family and friends are mourning the death of longtime Ottawa business leader and football great Val Belcher who passed away while waiting for a heart transplant in hospital.

Belcher, 57, died Sunday morning at the Ottawa Heart Institute.

He was named a CFL all-star three times in the 1980s. He played for the Ottawa Rough Riders and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Belcher also founded the Lone Star Texas Grill and Big Daddy's. Two years ago, he opened the Big Easy restaurant on Preston Street.

Belcher retired from the restaurant business in August. He leaves behind his partner and three children.

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