09/09/2013 12:56 EDT | Updated 11/09/2013 05:12 EST

QB Buck Pierce bids farewell to Bombers, fans

An emotional Buck Pierce poured out his affection for Winnipeg at a press conference Monday, a day after the Blue Bombers announced the popular quarterback was being traded back to the B.C. Lions.

He said he is excited to help the Lions, whatever the role he is given, but said he will continue to call Winnipeg his home and live in the city during the off-season.

Pierce thanked the fans for their support and said the trade caught him off guard.

The 31-year-old made his CFL debut with B.C. in 2005 and spent five seasons with the Lions before moving to Winnipeg as a free agent in 2010.

He has been a popular person in the community, living in the city year-round and making numerous public appearances, and becoming involved in some business ventures.

But professionally, he has struggled with injuries throughout his career and became known as glass quarterback.

He made just 31 starts over four seasons. In that time, the Bombers played 72 regular season games, one playoff game and a Grey Cup appearance.

Pierce helped lead to Bombers to that 2011 Grey Cup game, which they lost 34-23 to the Lions.

In his career, he has 1,179 career completions for 15,059 yards and 73 touchdowns against 62 interceptions.