Former Stamps defensive back Keon Raymond says "Calgary will always be home" in a touching letter to Calgarians on the day he was traded to the Toronto Argonauts.
"We have shared so many memories together winning two Grey Cups and falling short of the ultimate goal more often than we would [have] liked," he wrote in a letter posted to his Twitter page.
Raymond, 33, was a Grey Cup winner in 2008 and 2014, over eight seasons with the Calgary Stampeders.
"We were in discussions with Keon and his agent right until the end and the door was always open for him to remain in Calgary," said Stampeders general manager John Hufnagel.
"But ultimately he made the decision that the situation in Toronto was better for him," he added.
Hufnagel said Keon was a consistent performer on the field with a knack for game-changing big plays.
Raymond's five interception returns for touchdown are tied for the most in franchise history and his 24 career picks are the most of any Stamps player in the past quarter-century.
The St. Louis native is also known for his strong faith and community work.
He was involved with Canadian Blood Services, the Alberta Council of Women's Shelters and his wife's annual school-supplies drive — something he touched on in his farewell letter.
"The support over the years has been nothing less than amazing with me and my wife Bianca starting the Backpack Drive and the entire city getting behind us," Raymond wrote.
"The family experience here is just what it is — a family."
Thanks for everything Keon, you're one of the best and we're proud to have had you wear the red and white. https://t.co/MjduWrgWRq— @StampsFans