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William Watson

William Watson, "Whipper Billy," professional wrestler (b at Toronto 25 June 1915; d at Orlando, Fla 4 Feb 1990). It is claimed that he won 99% of his 6300 matches during a 30-year career. He was popular in the Toronto area and frequently drew capacity crowds.

Article

Willie O'Ree

Willie O’Ree, CM, ONB, hockey player (born 15 October 1935 in Fredericton, NB). Willie O’Ree became the first Black hockey player to play a National Hockey League (NHL) game on 18 January 1958. He played professional hockey for more than 20 years, including 45 games with the NHL’s Boston Bruins. Since 1998, O’Ree has been the NHL’s Director of Youth Development and ambassador for NHL Diversity, and has led the Hockey is for Everyone program. He received the Lester Patrick Trophy in 2003 for his outstanding service to hockey in the United States. In 2018, the NHL established the Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award in his honour. O’Ree is a Member of both the Order of Canada and the Order of New Brunswick. He has been inducted into the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame and the Hockey Hall of Fame. He was named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame as a Builder on 27 May 2020 and will be formally inducted in 2021. The Boston Bruins will retire his No. 22 jersey in 2022.

Article

Winnie Roach-Leuszler

Winnie Roach-Leuszler, swimmer (b at Port Credit, Ont 3 Feb. 1926; d at Surrey, BC 1 May 2004). Leuszler was the first Canadian to swim the English Channel. As a child she excelled in a wide range of sports both on land and in water but swimming soon emerged as her special talent.

Macleans

Yashin Cancels $1 Million NAC Gift

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on February 1, 1999. Partner content is not updated.

Hockey fans have long since become accustomed to the mercenary nature of modern professional sports: players whose seven-figure salaries are not enough to anchor them to a team or a town, and even teams themselves that abandon those towns for newer arenas and sweet tax concessions elsewhere.

Article

Yvon Durelle

Yvon Durelle (the Fighting Fisherman), boxer (born 14 October 1929 in Baie-Sainte-Anne, NB; died 6 January 2007 in Moncton, NB). Yvon Durelle was an Acadian boxer. A heavy-handed power puncher, Durelle was Canadian middleweight champion (1953) and light heavyweight champion (1953–57); as well as British Empire light heavyweight champion (1957). In 1958, he earned international fame for a legendary 11-round slugfest against defending world champion Archie Moore at the Forum in Montreal. Durelle had a career record of 88 wins (49 by knockout), 24 losses and two draws. He was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame, the Maritime Sports Hall of Fame and the Canadian Boxing Hall of Fame. He died at 77 following a years-long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

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