This coming Saturday, Vancouver Whitecaps FC will be celebrating Fan Appreciation night at BC Place as they take on Colorado Rapids in their season finale . In honour of the outstanding support that the club has received throughout their inaugural MLS season, whitecapsfc.com profiles some of the fans who've packed the stadium week in and week out.
Todd Deacon has always been a Whitecaps fan. He followed the team as a kid, notably remembering goalkeeper Tino Lettieri coming out at every match with a stuffed parrot on his shoulder, which he then stuck in the back corner of his net.
He followed the team when they were known as the Vancouver 86ers, and then as they returned to the Whitecaps name in the second division. He’d go to a few matches here and there, but this season he has fallen back in love with the team he grew up watching.
“I’d been to a few at Swangard, but I wanted to see the big leagues,” said Deacon, a 37-year-old general manager for a promotional products company. “I had company season tickets for about the past five years, but these ones I got for myself.”
And he’s sure happy he did.
He lists the first match of the season as the biggest highlight, but he has enjoyed every match that he’s attended and noted that the best part of the experience is the atmosphere. That enjoyment has now carried over to the team’s new home on Bell Pitch at BC Place.
“It’s amazing. The big screen, how bright it is in there. It has a really nice feel to it.”
The player he’s most enjoyed watching this season is Eric Hassli, though the big striker still has some work to do to capture the number one all-time spot for Deacon. That position still belongs to former 'Caps player and current club president, Bob Lenarduzzi.
“I mean, Bobby Lenarduzzi is the Whitecaps,” praised Deacon.
Todd himself has a long way to go if he is to catch Tom van As on the season ticket holder chart. But then again, Tom was just about the same age when he began his own journey.
So will Deacon be renewing his tickets and returning again next season to watch a season’s worth of matches with his family?
“Yes we are, I was just talking about doing that today,” said Deacon. “I would recommend buying season tickets to anyone. It’s a great value for what you get and it’s a lot of fun.”