Canada Soccer

Honoured hero Crossan, 85, passes away

Posted on 1 May 2016 in Around the Soccer World

Errol Crossan (right) and Terry Bly (photo Norwich City FC)

Errol Crossan, honoured as part of The Soccer Hall of Fame's inaugural class in 2000, has passed away. The former winger, who suffered from Parkinson's Disease but was still active in the latter part of his life in Langley, BC, was 85 years old.

Crossan, a two-time national Challenge Trophy winner in Canada, will best be remembered as a "59er" from Norwich City's magical FA Cup run in 1958-59. The so-called "Giant Killers" reached the semi-final round, a run that included victories over first division teams Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspurs before "we got put out by Luton in the replay."

"Cowboy" Crossan and Norwich City teammate Terry Bly were known as “The Terrible Twins” and they were immortalized in the song "The Ballad of Crossan and Bly". As written of Crossan, “they never saw him coming, that crew cut down the wing, like a flash of gold in the floodlighting, they never saw a thing”.

Before playing in England, Crossan helped the famous Westminster Royals win the 1953 Challenge Trophy. After time with Manchester City, Gillingham, Norwich City, and Leyton Orient, he returned to Canada and played for Toronto City, winning the 1961 Eastern Canadian Professional League title. He then returned out west to join Westminster Royals before joining Vancouver's Columbus FC and winning another Challenge Trophy in 1964.

Remembered Crossan of his career, “I could always run... there was never a team that I wasn’t the fastest man.”

 After his career, Crossan worked for Canadian Forest Products for more than 25 years. In 2000, he was one of 11 footballers honoured as part of the inaugural class of The Soccer Hall of Fame. In 2012 as part of Canada Soccer's centennial celebrations, he was honoured as one of Canada's Best XI in 50 years from 1912-1962.

Born on 6 October 1930 in Montréal, QC, he was eight years old when he moved to the Isle of Man, then in his late teens when he moved back to Montréal and early 20s when he moved out west to play football in British Columbia. He passed away on 23 April 2016 in Langley, BC.

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