Hall of Fame celebrates 11th Induction Class

The Soccer Hall of Fame held its 11th annual Induction Banquet on Saturday night at the Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex in Toronto, ON. Three players, two builders, one Pioneer Award winner, one Team of Distinction, and new for 2010, an Organization of Distinction were officially introduced as the Hall’s 11th Induction Class.

The Soccer Hall of Fame held its 11th annual Induction Banquet on Saturday night at the Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex in Toronto, ON. Three players, two builders, one Pioneer Award winner, one Team of Distinction, and new for 2010, an Organization of Distinction were officially introduced as the Hall’s 11th Induction Class.



Canadian Soccer Association Director Clive Wilkinson was on hand to offer his congratulations to all of the inductees. In his speech he also thanked the inductees for their contribution to Canadian soccer.



This year’s three inducted players were

Silvana Burtini, Gordie Ion, and Dr. Walter Thompson. For more information on each of the player inductees please click on each respective name.



The two inductees in the builder category were coach Stuart Brown and Ontario administrator Brian Avey. Brown coached the Edmonton Angels to an incredible nine women’s National Championships in his 33 years with the club. Avey was appointed as the Ontario Soccer Association’s first Executive Director in 1978 a position he would go on to hold for 25 years. During his tenure he oversaw the building of the Ontario Soccer Centre.



The 2010 Pioneer Award winner was former Dominion of Canada Football Association President John Russell. The late Mr. Russell served as the President of the Association from 1925 – 1931.



The Team of Distinction award went to the 1976 Toronto Metros-Croatia, the first Canadian team to win the North American Soccer League playoff championship. Toronto Metros-Croatia roster featured Zeljko Bilecki, Damir Sutevski, Mladen Cukon, Filip Blakovic, Robert Iarusci, Teddy Polak, Wolfgang Suhnholz, Ivair Ferreira, Ivan Lukacevic, Ivan Grnja, Gene Strenicer, Bruno Pilas, Carmine Marcantonio, and Portuguese superstar Eusébio.



The Organization of Distinction category was awarded for the first time in 2010. The first recipients of the award were the Vancouver Firefighters. The Firefighters were four-time Challenge Trophy champions over a 26-year period, winning national titles in 1965, 1973, 1983 and 1990. Notable Firefighters alumni are The Soccer Hall of Fame honoured members Art Hughes (1965 national champion), Norman McLeod (1983) and Ken Pears (1965).



The gala evening also featured the inaugural presentation of the Brian Budd Award to the late Peter Zezel. The Brian Budd Award is intended to recognize those who have excelled both in soccer and in another endeavour but who might not otherwise qualify for induction into The Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum. Peter Zezel is remembered as an excellent soccer player, an outstanding hockey player, a charitable man, caring friend, and tremendous teammate. In what was the most emotional moment of the evening, Zezel’s mother received the Brian Budd Award from Budd’s wife and two children.



From 2000 to 2010, The Soccer Hall of Fame has honoured 71 players and 46 builders. With the five new members in 2010, the induction wall has now grown to 117 honoured members. Soccer fans can visit The Soccer Hall of Fame & Museum at 7601 Martin Grove Road in Vaughan, ON. For more information, please visit www.theSoccerHallofFame.ca.

Schedule & Results

Check out Canada Soccer’s Schedule & Results page where you can find upcoming match schedules and past results leading to highlights, photos, match data, and more.