Lui Passaglia was born in Coquitlam, British Columbia on June 7, 1954, two months before the BC Lions played their first ever home game.
Although his first passion was soccer, Lui grew up to become one of football’s greatest players. His first introduction to the sport was at the age of 9, playing flag football in Adanac Park in Vancouver.
Lui began his high school career in 1968. He attended Notre Dame High School in East Vancouver and played quarterback, safety and kicker/punter. He was given number 14 in grade nine, and wore it during each of his four seasons with the Jugglers. In his first season, Lui played for the senior team that won the BC High School Championship in 1968. They went on to win again in 1970 and ’71. Lui was named the top offensive player in that final championship game.
While with Simon Fraser University, Lui played quarterback and receiver to compliment his kicking duties. He was named a NAIA District One All-Star twice and he wore number 14 each of his four seasons with the Clansmen.
In 1976 the BC Lions made Lui the 5th overall pick and in his first year wore number 18, before quickly switching to his trademark number five the next season. He chose it because the number 14 was being worn by Joe Forqueen at the time and he decided to add the two digits (1 + 4) to come up with the number 5. Lui kept that number for the next 24 years, until it was retired immediately after his final game.
Lui played in 408 games and retired after the Lions won the Grey Cup in 2000. He was named a CFL All-Star five times, and a West Division All-Star ten times. Over his record-setting career, Lui amassed 3,991 points, the most points scored by a player in professional football history. In 2004, Lui was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 2011. He was also part of inaugural 2011 induction class of the BC Football Hall of Fame.
He is part of the Burnaby Sports Hall of Fame’s Class of 2023.
Lui held the position of Director of Community Relations with the BC Lions from 2001-2007. At the end of 2007 Lui left the BC Lions organization to pursue an opportunity within his family home construction business. He continues to work part time with the BC Lions as Community Relations Ambassador.
Lui was named the CFL Alumni Association’s Man of the Year in 2014.