News

BC Soccer congratulates the new individuals teams and organizations inducted into the Soccer Hall of Fame of British Columbia

5 Players, 3 Coaches, 1 Builder, 2 Referees, 2 Teams and 2 Organizations become the first to be inducted via nominations and selection. 

November 7th, 2020 – Vancouver BC.

The Soccer Hall of Fame of British Columbia welcomes 15 outstanding individuals and organizations inducted in 2020.  The inductees demonstrate achievement from 1893 to 2014, achievement across the breadth of soccer in BC, and include many true pioneers in their respective fields.

Last year’s inaugural Soccer Hall of Fame of BC inductees were those British Columbians who had been previously inducted into the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame. The “Class of 2020” is the first group of inductees to be nominated by and selected by British Columbians themselves.

In 1983, Terry Felix of the Sts’ailes First Nation in Agassiz became the first, First Nations player to play professional soccer in North America and to play for Canada’s MNT.  Goalkeeper Wendy Hawthorne won eleven BC provincial championships from 1985 to 2004 and won four national championships. In 1985 George Pakos of Victoria famously scored the two critical goals which took Canada to its so-far only FIFA Men’s World Cup Finals. Cathy Ross played in Canada’s first national women’s team games in 1986, going on to set a then-record streak of 25 straight Canada WNT games. Sergio Zanatta, a stand-out left winger with Columbus FC, won four national championships in the 1960s and 1970s.

Three coaches have been trail-blazers on the sideline. Harry Christie was in effect BC’s first Technical Director in the 1960s and 1970s. Joe Csabai coached high performance adult and youth teams and players from the 1970s on. Shelley Howieson, the first female coach in BC’s Soccer Hall of Fame, paved the way for female coaches, coaching SFU’s women’s team from 1988 to 2014, winning five “Coach of the Year” awards.

Pioneer Builder Robert Adam of Nanaimo led the Nanaimo soccer community in its heyday from the 1890s to the 1920s and was BC Soccer’s First Vice-President in 1904-5. Joining the three referees already in the Hall of Fame, Bob Allen and Dante Maglio were top-flight FIFA List referees in the 1970s and 1980s, officiating NASL games, including play-off Soccer Bowl Finals and FIFA international tournaments and games.

Two “Teams of Distinction” are true stand-outs. Surrey United Premier Women’s Team 2004-2014 won an unparalleled 11 straight BC championships and finished in the medals in all 11 national championships. From the 1920s to 1970s, BC All-Stars hosted visiting touring professional club teams. The 1957 BC All-Stars stunned the soccer world, delivering “the upset of the century” by defeating Tottenham Hotspur, who had just finished in second place in the English First Division.

Two “Organizations of Distinction” serving the soccer players in their communities for over six decades are inducted in 2020. Cliff Avenue United FC of Burnaby has been a leading boys and girls club since 1956. Nanaimo United FC is a coming together of Nanaimo’s youth soccer club founded in 1923 and the Nanaimo United adult club founded in 1974.

Read the profiles of the careers and achievements of the 15 “Class of 2020” members and the 98 earlier inductees at the Soccer Hall of Fame of BC web-site at https://heritage.bcsoccer.net/hall-of-fame/ . Selection criteria and nomination forms are also posted. Make nominations now for inductions in 2021.

*   Reflecting the era of male and female soccer, there are now 22 players in the Soccer Hall of Fame of BC who have been born since 1960. Eleven are male, eleven are female.

*   96 members of the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame were inducted into the BC Hall in November 2019. Brittany Timko Baxter and Karina LeBlanc were added in February 2020 upon their induction to the Canada HOF.

About the Soccer Hall of Fame of British Columbia

The Soccer Hall of Fame of British Columbia is being founded to recognize and honour excellence by British Columbians in soccer, whose example has brought great credit to our sport and province.

The Soccer Hall of Fame of BC will operate in concert with the national Canada Soccer Hall of Fame.

The Founding Members of the Hall from 2019 were the 96 British Columbians already members of the national Hall of Fame. As of 2020, the BC Hall will select new members annually through nominations and Selection Panel.

About BC Soccer

Established in 1907, BC Soccer is the largest provincial sports organization (PSO) in BC and the third largest soccer-specific PSO in Canada with over 150,000 participants, consisting of registered players, coaches, referees, administrators and soccer leaders. As a professional not-for-profit society and a member of Canada Soccer, BC Soccer is committed to providing the widest opportunities for existing and potential participants, as well as provide support in the most effective and appropriate way for current players, parents, volunteers, member clubs, leagues, and districts.

Safe Sport Statement

BC Soccer believes that everyone involved in soccer has the right to participate in safe and inclusive environments free of abuse, harassment, discrimination, and to enjoy the sport at whatever level or capacity they participate in.

The welfare of everyone involved in soccer is the foremost consideration and in particular, the protection of children in the sport is the responsibility of everyone involved.