Gene Vazzoler
Gene
Vazzoler

Born
Sep 25, 1941
Age
79
Club
N/A
Birthplace
Torino, ITA
Height
180 cm
School(s)
N/A
Where they grew up
Burnaby, CAN
TEAM HONOURS (7)

Bio

Gene Vazzoler

Eugenio Vazzoler... he was 12 years old when his family moved from Torino, ITA to Vancouver, BC in 1954... was owner of Columbus 5 clothing store on Commercial Drive in Vancouver... served as director of the Italian Canadian Sports Federation in Vancouver...

his Vancouver Columbus FC jersey number 5 was retired in his honour in 1983... he was formally inducted to the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame on 24 March 2019 ahead of a Canada match at BC Place in Vancouver...

a four-time Canada Soccer Championship winner (Challenge Trophy with Columbus FC in 1964, 1969, 1977 and 1978) and one-time runner up (1968)... in 1978, teammates Gene Vazzoler and Sergio Zanatta were just the seventh and eighth four-time Canadian winners (in fact Vazzoler was the first centre half with four Canadian titles)... he was just the third player to win four Canadian titles with the same team (following Dave Turner and Roy Cairns)... a five-time BC Province Cup winner (1964, 1968, 1969, 1977, 1978)... a three-time Pacific Coast League winner (1968-69, 1969-70, 1970-71), one-time BC Premier League winner (1972), and BC League winner... a four-time all-star selection in a six-year span from 1964 to 1969...

as noted in a 1967 all-star program, he was “an excellent ball handler and main cog in Columbus’ defence”... as noted in a 1979 all-star program, “the jersey number five is synonymous with Gene Vazzoler as he has been wearing this number with the Columbus organisation for the past 18 years”...

said Vazzoler in 1963 during trials in Scotland, “playing alongside the likes of Doug Cowie and Bobby Evans in practice matches has helped a lot. They’ve given us a ton of advice and we’re real genned up on the theory of the game”...

said Vazzoler in 1983, “going to one of our (Columbus) games was the thing to do on a Sunday for the Italian community and we used to draw 3,000-4,000 fans for games at Callister”... said Vazzoler in 1989, “I remember some of the best times the (Columbus) club ever had were when we played at Callister Park across from the coliseum and we had thousands of fans come out to those games. We had a very devoted following from the new immigrants from Europe. There were great successes, riots, lots of excitement in those Callister days”...

said Vazzoler in 2018, “in my young days, one of the reasons I was put on defence was my speed. There were not many players that could get around me or outpace me. I guess that was one of my assets”... said Gene Vazzoler in 2018, “I was recruited by the Firefighters. I wanted to get into the fire department and I could have joined the Firefighters... but I was Italian, so for who else was I going to play but Columbus?”...

said Giorgio Zambrano in 2018, Gene Vazzoler “was good in the air, he was very quick and very fast”... said Roy Nosella in 2018, “Gene Vazzoler was a gentlemanly player”... said Dan Comuzzi in 2018, “Gene Vazzoler was a tall guy and a smooth player. He was consistent and you could rely on him to do his job”... said Sam Lenarduzzi in 2018, “Gene Vazzoler was just an elegant player. He was very, very good in the air”...

said Neil Ellett in 2018, “Gene Vazzoler was a class act. Playing the centre half position back in those days could be pretty rough, but he just had the great touch, the skill, he could pull the ball down and lay it off, that sort of thing. Gene was a class player”... said Robert Allen in 2018, “Gene Vazzoler was a good ball handler. He was not a rough and tough guy, he was just a very, very talented player”... said Metro Gerela in 2018, “Gene Vazzoler was a hell of a player, he was a tough dude to get around. He wasn’t a tough guy that would push you around, but he knew all the little, quirky tricks to throw you off balance. He was an extraordinary difficult guy to deal with”... said Gary Stevens in 2018, “Gene Vazzoler came in right at the time that they created the sweeper position at centre half, the guy that stayed back behind everyone else and, when a ball was played to wherever and it got through, he was the guy that came in behind on both sides of the field. He was good at it, he read the game really well, he was in good shape, and he was a skillful soccer player”... said Jim Goodheart in 2019, “Gene Vazzoler was a smooth player, a good defender”...

said Glen Johnson in 2018, “Gene Vazzoler was Columbus. His skill was amazing, he was light on his feet, unbelievable in the air. He could beat most big people in the air. His skill level was incredible and he could run with just about anyone. He was a really good player. Of all the guys, he was one of the most naturally-talented players”... said Bruce Twamley in 2018, “Gene Vazzoler was a very elegant centre half... he was a guy that could have played in a tuxedo. He would never get dirty because he was so elegant. He was very good at heading the ball, he was good at passing the ball, he was good at reading the game... but he did everything elegantly. He was a cultured player. He was effortless”... said Chris Bennett in 2018, “Gene Vazzoler wasn’t a rough and tumble guy, but he was very, very light on his feet, a good runner, a very intelligent player with great spacial awareness, knew when to lay it off quick and not get caught, knew when to play balls... he was just a very intelligent player. He was special”... said Len Brown in 2018, “Gene Vazzoler was very hard and he was special in the air. He could get up and head the ball, he would win the headers eight times out of ten, and he was accurate. He would get up and head it to Zanatta or Simpson or whoever because he had control. He wouldn’t give up the ball. He was very good in the air and he wouldn’t give up the ball”...

Individual Honours

Stats

Player Stats