Obituary of Michael "Mike" Labinjo
July 8, 1980 – September 21, 2018
It is with great sadness that family and friends of Mike Labinjo, announce his sudden passing on Friday, September 21, 2018 at the age of 38 years in Calgary, Alberta.
Mike will be lovingly remembered by his beloved daughter Hailey, mother Margaret; brother Randy (Lacey) and close family friends Frank, Dana and James Giffen. Mike will also be forever remembered by his nieces and nephews, step brothers and sisters and dear friends across North America.
Mike Labinjo was born in Toronto on July 8, 1980. To all that knew him, he was a kind, generous, articulate and gentle giant. He was a humble and fun loving joker with an unassuming charm.
In his teen years, Mike attended St. Michael’s College School, graduating in 1999. It is at St. Mike’s that Binjo found his love and passion for the game of football. He excelled and proudly played football for the Kerry Blues winning the GTA Metro Bowl in 1998 under coach Paul Forbes.
After earning a scholarship, Mike attended Michigan State University and played football for the Spartans and Coach Nick Saban, Bobby Williams and JL Smith from 2000-2003 where he was named a honourable mention All-Big-Ten selection and the team’s defensive MVP in his senior year. He led the Spartans in sacks in 2001 and tied for the team lead in interceptions in 2003, and remains ninth in team history in tackles for a loss with 35.
Mike graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Finance in 2003 beginning his seven-year professional football career.
After being selected in the 2003 CFL Draft by the Calgary Stampeders, Mike elected to sign as a free agent with the Philadelphia Eagles, making the team and playing in the team’s 24-21 Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots.
In Mike’s NFL career with the Eagles, Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins from 2003-2007, he appeared in 10 career NFL games, registering 19 tackles and a forced fumble.
Mike came home to Canada, joining the Calgary Stampeders on July 16, 2007. In 44 games with the Stampeders from 2007-2010, Mike recorded 61 defensive tackles including nine tackles for a loss, seven special teams tackles, six sacks, seven knockdowns and two fumble recoveries.
Mike played a critical role in Calgary’s 22-18 win over B.C. in the West Division final registering 8 tackles and 3 sacks followed by a 22-14 Grey Cup win over Montreal with three tackles, one sack and four pass deflections. It was Mike’s proudest memory as a football player.
Mike loved Calgary and considered it his home. His biggest regret after retiring in 2011 was that he would no longer play football before his beloved fans in Calgary.
Mike remained in Calgary following his football career working at Solengo Capital and First Service Residential where he was most recently a Regional Manager.
Mike will be remembered as a great father, son and brother. A friend to all with a great laugh, warm smile and friendly stories.
The family will receive friends at the HUMPHREY FUNERAL HOME A.W. MILES – NEWBIGGING CHAPEL, 1403 Bayview Avenue (south of Davisville Avenue) from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 2nd. Funeral service to be held in BLESSED SACRAMENT CHURCH, 24 Cheritan Avenue, Toronto on Wednesday, October 3rd at 10:00 a.m.
If desired, a Go Fund Me account Go Fund Me has been set up to raise funds for Mike’s daughter, Hailey. Condolences, photographs and memories may be forwarded through www.humphreymiles.com.
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