CRAIG FORREST TO BE INDUCTED INTO THE SOCCER HALL OF FAME

Former men’s national team goalkeeper and television analyst Craig Forrest will be one of eleven new inductees into the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame next April. Joining Forrest in the player category will be Glen Johnson, who played for Canada in the 1970s, and Connie Cant, who played 23 times for the women’s national team in the 80s. Also being inducted are two former players who have passed on. They are Domenic Mobilio, who played 25 times for Canada before his untimely death at the age of 35 in 2004, and Bill Findler, who was a star in the 1920s and 1930s with Edmonton C.N.R. and Westminster Royals.



Being inducted into the Builder category are long serving Canadian Soccer Association president Jim Fleming, national team doctor Rudy Gittens, former CSA Technical Director, Bill Thomson, Herb Capozzi, owner of the Vancouver Whitecaps, during the North American Soccer League years, and Gus Etchegarry long time administrator from the Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association.

Former men’s national team goalkeeper and television analyst Craig Forrest will be one of eleven new inductees into the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame next April.  Joining Forrest in the player category will be Glen Johnson, who played for Canada in the 1970s, and Connie Cant, who played 23 times for the women’s national team in the 80s. Also being inducted are two former players who have passed on. They are Domenic Mobilio, who played 25 times for Canada before his untimely death at the age of 35 in 2004, and Bill Findler, who was a star in the 1920s and 1930s with Edmonton C.N.R. and Westminster Royals.



Being inducted into the Builder category are long serving Canadian Soccer Association president Jim Fleming, national team doctor Rudy Gittens, former CSA Technical Director, Bill Thomson, Herb Capozzi, owner of the Vancouver Whitecaps, during the North American Soccer League years, and Gus Etchegarry long time administrator from the Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association.



The Hall of Fame will be introducing a new award in 2007, named the Pioneer Award, designed to recognize those individuals who contributed to the game in the distant past.  The first recipient of this award will be Tom Robertson, the first secretary of the Dominion of Canada Football Association (today’s CSA) in 1912.  Being honoured as the 2007 Team of Distinction will be the Calgary Caledonians, who won the People’s Shield, the unofficial championship of Canada in 1907.



Craig Forrest, seen regularly as a soccer analyst on Roger’s Sportsnet with Gerry Dobson, joins five other former national team goalkeepers (Joe Kennaway, Art Halliwell, Tony Chursky, Tino Lettieri and Paul Dolan) in the Hall of Fame.  He gained world wide recognition while playing over 300 games for three well known English clubs Ipswich Town, Chelsea and West Ham United as well as 56 times for Canada’s full national team.  He was the key to Canada winning the CONCACAF Gold Cup in Los Angeles in 2000 allowing a mere three goals, and stopping two penalty kicks, in his teams five games.  Currently he is the honorary chairperson for next years FIFA World Youth Championship which will be held in Canada.



Like Forrest, Glen Johnson made a name for himself playing in England, and he is the first Canadian born player to play in England’s old First Division.  Johnson was spotted by former West Bromwich Albion manager Alan Ashman, during his clubs Canadian tour in 1969.  A striker, Johnson scored six goals for the Vancouver Spartans on opening day of the Western Canada Soccer League that same summer, and was selected to play for the British Columbia All-Stars to play against the English team.  However, the played just four games in the Football League before an injury ended his English career and he returned to Canada to play for the Vancouver Whitecaps in the NASL. He captained Canada’s national team in World Cup qualifying in 1972, scoring on his debut against the U.S. in St. John’s, Newfoundland.



Connie Cant was a member of Canada’s national women’s team from 1986 to 1991 and co-captain from 1989 to 1991.  She played on the Quebec provincial team which won silver medals at the Canadian championships and played her club soccer at Concordia University.  She is a member of the Quebec Soccer Hall of Fame.



Domenic Mobilio was just 18 years old when he became one of the first two players to sign with the old Vancouver 86ers when the team was formed to play in the Canadian Soccer League in 1987.  He was the leading goalscorer and MVP in the CSL in 1991 with 25 goals and the leading goalscorer overall in the history of the league with 81 in 121 games.  When the 86ers changed their name to the Whitecaps he continued to play for the club in the A-League, and in total his club career spanned 15 seasons and he scored an overall total of 170 goals in 286 games.  He played 25 times for Canada between 1986 and 1997 and on retiring coached Coquitlam City.  Domenic died of an apparent heart attack at the age of 35.



Bill Findler was a star centre forward with Edmonton Canadian Legion in 1928 and C.N.R. in 1929 and 1930, before moving to the west coast to join the famous Westminster Royals.   With C.N.R. he won the Alberta championship in 1929 and 1930 and with the Royals the Canadian championship in 1931 and 1936.  He played for the Edmonton All-Stars against the touring Scottish F.A, in 1927, Welsh F.A. in 1929 and Glasgow Rangers in 1930, and the B.C. All-Stars against the English F.A. in 1931.  When he hung up his boots he became a coach, a manager and then league secretary and president of the Pacific Coast League, at a time when that league was the best in the country.  He died in 1982.



Among the Builders, Jim Fleming served two terms as president of the Canadian Soccer Association at first from 1982 to 1986 and then again from 1998 to 2002.  During his first term in office the national team reached the World Cup finals for the first and only time and during his second the team won the CONCACAF Gold Cup.  In addition to the CSA Jim held various positions within CONCACAF and also with FIFA.  He is a member of the CONCACAF Hall of Fame and a member of the FIFA Order of Merit.



National team doctor Rudy Gittens  has been a member of the CSA Medical Committee for 20 years and Canada’s representative on the FIFA Medical Committee, he was also doctor to the Ottawa Rough Riders and the Ottawa 67s junior hockey team.



Bill Thomson was appointed the first full time Technical Director of the CSA in 1974 and during his tenure to 1985 was responsible for the design and implementation of the coaching certificate program for soccer in Canada.  He was manager of the Pan American Games team in 1975 and the Olympic Games team in 1976, and voted Coach of the Year in the Canadian Soccer League in 1987 as coach of the Ottawa Pioneers.



Herb Capozzi was a multi-sports star at UBC and is inducted into their Sports Hall of Fame.  He played professionally in the National Football League and the Canadian Football League and made two Grey Cup appearances as a member of the B.C. Lions, before turning to soccer.  He was the driving force behind the Vancouver Whitecaps of the NASL, being owner, president and Chairman of the Board for 10 seasons.  During this time his club won Soccer Bowl 1979 beating Tampa Bay Rowdies in the final, following a dramatic semi-final win over the New York Cosmos at Giants Stadium in New York.



Gus Etchegarry  was president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association from 1966 to 1971 and vice president of the CSA from 1970 to 1973.  He began his playing career in 1945 as a member of the Burin Peninsula and St. Lawrence teams, and first entered the administrative side of the game in 1959.  He is a member of five sports Hall’s of Fame in his home province.



Tom Robertson, who becomes the first recipient of the Pioneer Award was instrumental, along with Fred Barter of Montreal, in forming the then Dominion of Canada Football Association in 1912.  In those days soccer in Canada was always known by it official name “Football.”  Earlier in life Robertson had received an injury as a player that resulted in 53 weeks in  hospital and the loss of a leg, and following that he was determined to eliminate the brutality that existed in the game at that time.  This led to the formation of the Toronto and District Football Association (today’s Toronto Soccer Assocation) in 1908.  He went on to become the Secretary-Treasurer of the T and D in 1908, 1909 and 1910, and of the Ontario Football Association in 1910.  He was secretary-treasurer of the DCFA in 1912, 1913 and 1914, and made a life member in 1925.  Before World War Two teams in the T and D played for the Robertson Cup, the gate receipts of which went to an injured players fund.  The cup disappeared many years ago.



Calgary Caledonians, this years Team of Distinction, won the People’s Shield, the unofficial national championship in 1907, 1908 and 1909 the first three years of the competitions existence. This was before the formation of the Canadian Soccer Association and an official national championship in 1913.  The People’s Shield was donated to Canadian soccer by the People newspaper in London, England and the Shield is on display at the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame. The team has had other successes since and in 2006 also reached the Canadian final of the National Championship.



PLAYERS: 



Craig Forrest, national team 1990s. B.C.

Glen Johnson, who played for Canada in the 1970s  B.C.

Connie Cant, national women’s team in the 80s.  QUEBEC

Domenic Mobilio, national team 1990s   B.C.

Bill Findler, a star in the 1920s and 1930s with Edmonton C.N.R. and Westminster Royals. ALBERTA/B.C.



BUILDERS



Jim Fleming, long serving Canadian Soccer Association president  ALBERTA

Rudy Gittens, national team doctor  ONTARIO

Bill Thomson, former CSA Technical Director,  B.C.

Herb Capozzi, owner of the Vancouver Whitecaps, during the North American Soccer League years B.C.

Gus Etchegarry long time administrator from the Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association. NEWFOUNDLAND



PIONEER AWARD, designed to recognize those individuals who contributed to the game in the distant past.  The first recipient of this award will be Tom Robertson, the first secretary of the Dominion of Canada Football Association (today’s CSA) in 1912. ONTARIO.



TEAM of DISTINCTION Calgary Caledonians, who won the People’s Shield, the unofficial championship of Canada in 1907.



The Soccer Hall of Fame & Museum was established at The Soccer Centre in Vaughan, Ontario in 1999 and is dedicated to preserving and researching Canada’s soccer history



The first Induction Banquet took place in 2000



The 2007 Ceremony will take place at “The Country Club, a Clublink Corporation” in Woodbridge, Ontario on Saturday May 5 2007. At this time there will be a total of 97 players and builders and 5 teams of Distinction who will have been honoured.



www.thesoccerhalloffame.ca

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