VANCOUVER, BC – In celebration of the club’s 40th anniversary, Vancouver Whitecaps FC have launched a new Ring of Honour to acknowledge exemplary players and figures who have embodied Our all. Our honour. on and off the field, and who represent the club's three core values: Unity, Winning, and Honour. Based on input from a selection of alumni, the first four inductees will be Bob Lenarduzzi, Carl Valentine, Domenic Mobilio, and Andrea Neil.
Now we want your input. Who should be the next inductee into the Ring of Honour? Four nominees have been put forth based on voting received from alumni thus far, with a write-in option also available. Fan voting for the next inductee will run until the end of May.
Highly respected by his peers, Peter Beardsley was one of the great talents in Whitecaps FC history. When he first arrived in Vancouver in 1982 he made an immediate impression and following his first season in the North American Soccer League (NASL), Beardsley earned a loan spell with Manchester United. The native of Hexham, England, who went on to make 59 appearances for his country, returned in 1983 and made a lasting impression with fans. Though he only played two seasons in Vancouver, Beardsley ranks 17th overall in club history in goals scored with 29, including raising the curtain at BC Place with both goals in a 2-1 win over Seattle Sounders to open the new stadium. After departing, Beardsley went on to become one of the all-time greats at storied English clubs Newcastle United and Liverpool, while also making his mark at Everton.
Regarded by many as the defender who made the greatest impact wearing the Blue and White, John Craven played in 79 matches for the 'Caps over three seasons from 1978 to 1980. After 28 appearances in his first season, Craven returned as captain in 1979 and famously led the club to a monumental triumph over heavy favourites New York Cosmos in the NASL Conference Championships. Following that victory, the ’Caps conquered Tampa Rowdies in the Soccer Bowl to claim the NASL championship. In addition to his time in Vancouver, the native of Lytham St Annes, England, spent time with English clubs Blackpool FC, Crystal Palace FC, Coventry City FC, and Plymouth Argyle FC. Craven passed away from a heart attack in 1996.
“King” Kevin Hector was the leading goalscorer on that famous 1979 NASL Soccer Bowl winning team, scoring 16 goals and recording 10 assists in 32 matches. In total, Hector played three seasons in Vancouver from 1978 to 1980. The native of Leeds, England ranks ninth all-time in club scoring with 40 career goals, which also leaves him second all-time in NASL scoring for the ‘Caps. Prior to joining the Whitecaps, Hector made his mark at English club Derby County FC and was recently voted their greatest all-time player.
A defender who will forever be etched in the history of Canadian soccer, Bruce Wilson was a leader who helped elevate the sport to new heights in this country. An original member of the 1974 Vancouver Whitecaps team, Wilson would go on to play four seasons with the ‘Caps, captaining the club in 1976 and 1977. Wilson ranks 28th all-time in club history with 94 games started. In addition to his work with the ’Caps, the native of Vancouver, BC, was also captain of Canada’s men’s national team and led the Red and White to the country’s only FIFA World Cup appearance in 1986. Since 1987, Wilson has been head coach of the University of Victoria men’s soccer program and in 2000, he was inducted into the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame.
The nominees selected above were based on the highest number of votes compiled and received from alumni to date. But a wealth of other candidates deserve to be in the conversation. Is there someone else who you would like to vote for? Vote for other and fill in the name. *Future inductions are not limited to this year’s nominees.
Share all of your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below.