Lorraine Miller, a Canada Soccer Life Member, has passed away at age 75. Affectionally known as the “Mother of the Association” on account of her 34 years as an employee, Mrs. Miller joined Canada Soccer in 1973 as one of only two staff members at the time in the Ottawa offices at Place Vanier. She was the organisation’s Office Administrator alongside then General Secretary Eric King.
From 1973 to 2006, she served seven Canada Soccer Presidents as well as General Secretaries King and Kevan Pipe. She was honoured with Canada Soccer’s President’s Award in 1998, the Aubrey Sanford Meritorious Service Award in 2006, and Canada Soccer Life Membership in 2021.
Said then President Terry Quinn in 1998, “my colleagues on the Board of Directors will use words such as dedication, loyalty, commitment, tireless, enthusiasm and friendship… (she is) affectionately known as the Mother of the Association.”
During her work career, Canada Soccer’s National Teams competed in the 1976 Olympic Games, the 1986 FIFA World Cup, and three editions of the FIFA Women’s World Cup from 1995 to 2003. She helped Canada Soccer organise the FIFA U-16 World Tournament Canada 1987, the FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship Canada 2002, the Concacaf Women’s Championship in 1994 and 1998, and six Concacaf youth tournaments and qualifiers from 1974 to 2003.
She was there for the addition of women’s soccer at Canada Soccer’s National Championships in 1982, the birth of Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team in 1986, and the Canadian-record crowd of 51,936 fans to watch the Men’s National Team against Brazil in 1994.
Alongside King, she helped Canada Soccer affect change to the way FIFA sold their TV rights for the FIFA World Cup in North America, thus ensuring that millions of Canadians could watch every game on home TV beginning in 1982. Alongside Pipe, she helped Canada Soccer earn the hosting rights to the transformative FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada 2007, thus initiating the groundbreaking constructing to the National Soccer Stadium in Toronto and opening the door for a new era in professional soccer across the nation.
She was also there for two headquarter moves in Ottawa from Place Vanier to Place R. Tait McKenzie in 1988 and then to Place Canada Soccer in 1996, which is still Canada Soccer’s home today.
Said Pipe at Canada Soccer’s 2022 Annual Meeting of the Members, “Lorraine was at the heart of (it all), behind the scenes and getting things done in her most effective and efficient manner… she did (her job) with grace, with dignity, with charm and with humour.”
Born on 8 April 1947, Mrs. Miller passed away on 12 September 2022. She will be greatly missed by family, friends and colleagues along with all those who have enjoyed the game across the last five decades.
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