Martin Fabi, a former punter for the Saskatchewan Roughriders passed away on Thursday at the age of 80.
How Did Martin Fabi Die?
Martin Fabi who set two CFL single-game records in 1963, died at the age of 80. Fabi’s workload, which resulted in an average of 45.2 yards per punt, was understandable given the score – Roughriders 4, Calgary Stampeders 4.
He punted once, and it went for a single. Only 73 yards of total offense and four first downs (one in each quarter) were produced by Saskatchewan.
Former Saskatchewan Roughriders punter Martin Fabi dies at 80: Former Saskatchewan Roughriders punter Martin Fabi, who set two CFL single-game records in 1963, died on Thursday at age 80. https://t.co/HGZGG8gzCT via @robvanstone pic.twitter.com/tTAcmm7hG5
— CFL Headlines (@CFL_Headlines) January 7, 2023
Martin Fabi Cause of Death
Former Punter, Martin Fabi sadly pased away on January 5, 2023. Martin Fabi cause of death was not revealed yet. It was believed that it was mostly due to the age factor. CFL headlines confirmed his death on the Twitter page.
At Calgary’s McMahon Stadium, Roughriders quarterbacks Lee Grosscup and Bob Ptacek combined for two completions in 12 attempts for a total of 16 yards.
Earlier in the year, Fabi’s punting had helped the visiting team defeat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats by a score of 5-3. In the fourth quarter, with the score tied 3-3, Fabi punted once for 60 and once for 63 yards.
In the first game in Roughriders history with Ron Lancaster starting at quarterback, Fabi averaged 44.3 yards on 11 punts throughout the contest. He was then 20 years old.
John Robertson of the Regina Leader-Post said in the edition of August 16, 1963, “Fabi probably isn’t old enough to vote yet, but he’s a tried and tested pro in my book.”
“When he bobbled the snap-back on a punt attempt in the third quarter when the Roughriders had moved in close enough for a possible winning single, I truly thought it would shatter him for the evening.
“But he bounced back to hoist two beauties which went so high they came down with frost on them.”
Who was Martin Fabi?
Fabi was born in Romania, but after his father (Martin Sr.) was killed in the Second World War, his family moved to Austria in 1944.
In 1953, the Fabis immigrated to Canada and settled in Alymer, Ontario. The 6-foot-5, 240-pound Fabi played junior football before signing with the Alouettes as a 19-year-old in St. Thomas, Ontario.
In September 1962, Fabi became a member of the Roughriders after being claimed for the $350 waiver fee.
His punting average over the following three seasons was 42.9 yards on 339 attempts. In 1963, when he averaged 44.0 yards per punt and had 15 singles, he had his best season.
Over the course of three seasons in Saskatchewan, he also saw some action as a receiver, catching 15 receptions for 244 yards.
After leaving the CFL, Fabi played semi-pro football with the London Lords in Ontario while laying the foundation for a prosperous business career.
He had a protracted relationship with the warehousing company Livingston International and eventually rose to become the company’s president in 1981.
Fabi was appointed president and CEO of GN Johnston Equipment in 1990. After retiring in 2002, he and his wife Katherine remained in the Guelph region.