No. 27 tribute already taken

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:57 AM ET

When Lenny Walls arrived in Calgary, he wanted to get No. 27 with the Stampeders to honour his late friend and former teammate.

But that digit already belonged to another pal, Brandon Browner, who is wearing it in memory of former Denver Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams as well.

It doesn't matter that much to Walls, who instead took No. 35 with the Stamps. The defensive back will honour Williams forever with a tattoo above his heart, which is still heavy with emotion about the incident nearly 21 months ago.

Williams was shot to death outside a Denver nightclub in the wee hours of New Year's Day 2007, following the final Broncos regular-season game.Not a day goes by when Walls doesn't think about him.

'SUPER CLOSE'

"Me and him were super close," Walls said. "He was like a little brother to me.

"I miss him like crazy. He was a heck of a football player and a great young man. He was probably the toughest guy with the biggest heart I've ever seen play cornerback."

FIRST GAME

Walls, who arrived in Calgary three weeks ago and will suit up for his first game tomorrow against the Saskatchewan Roughriders, was a three-year NFL veteran when Williams was drafted by the Broncos. Browner was also there, but the second-year Stamp broke his arm in training camp and spent the entire season on the injured list.

Despite the fact Walls and Williams battled over the same position, they became the best of friends. Within days of training camp opening, Williams found an apartment two blocks away from Walls and the two were inseparable from then on.

"A year seems short, but I was with that guy most of the day, from the start of work until long afterwards," Walls said.


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