Veitch Family 2015 Hall of Fame
Photo Credit: Mits Naga

2015 BC Sports Hall of Fame Banquet of Champions

On Thursday at the 2015 Banquet of Champions, the late Denny Veitch, who is the original Vancouver Whitecaps FC founder and general manager, as well as members of the 2012 Canadian women’s national team that won bronze at the 2012 Summer Olympics, were inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame.

Along with former owner and close friend Herb Capozzi, Veitch was the driving force in establishing the Whitecaps franchise. On this very day in 1973, December 11, the Vancouver Whitecaps franchise was announced on the top floor of a downtown Vancouver Davie Street hotel as the club began life in the original North American Soccer League (NASL).

Veitch, who was inducted in the builder category, is known for creating the club’s name. It came to him while he was driving across Lions Gate Bridge on a beautiful sunny afternoon (see above video). He looked down and saw the whitecaps on the ocean and looked up and saw the whitecaps on the mountains and thought, “What better name for this new franchise?!”, and thus the Vancouver Whitecaps Football Club was born.

The Vancouver native was Whitecaps general manager from 1973 until 1977. Through his leadership, he helped elevate the sport of soccer nationally by building a successful franchise which became a cornerstone of Vancouver’s sports community. Thanks to his foresight, the legacy of the Whitecaps continues to this day, as the club has again returned to the top level of professional soccer in North America.

“Denny Veitch’s contributions to sport in our province will never be forgotten,” said Whitecaps FC president Bob Lenarduzzi, who is Veitch's son-in-law. “His impact is remembered not only through the Whitecaps name, but also through his time as general manager of the BC Lions and as a rugby player for Canada. This is a very well deserved honour.” 

In 2012, Canada’s national women’s soccer team captured the hearts and minds of our country by earning the nation’s first medal at a Summer Olympics in a traditional team sport since 1936. The bronze medal winning side included five layers from British Columbia, including goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc, defender Emily Zurrer, midfielder Sophie Schmidt, and strikers Christine Sinclair and Brittany Timko. 13 of the 20 players on the team also formerly played with Whitecaps FC.

“Women’s soccer has been a huge part of our club, and it continues to be with the recent announcement of our partnership with BC Soccer and Canada Soccer to create the first Regional EXCEL Centre in Western Canada,” said Lenarduzzi. “What transpired at the 2012 London Olympics was a true inspiration to thousands of youth who will hopefully one day go on to achieve what this group has.”

 

2012 Canadian Women’s Olympic Soccer Team (BC Members in BOLD)

Player

YOB

Hometown

Vancouver Whitecaps FC

GK- Karina LeBlanc 

1980

Maple Ridge, BC, CAN | Golden Ears Angels

 

GK- Erin McLeod

1983

Edmonton & Calgary, AB, CAN | St. Albert

2004-2006

CB- Candace Chapman 

1983

Ajax, ON, CAN | Ajax United

2006-2008

CB- Carmelina Moscato

1984

Mississauga, ON, CAN | Dixie SC

2003-2004

CB- Emily Zurrer

1987

Crofton, BC, CAN | Cowichan Valley

2008, 2010-2011

FB- Robyn Gayle 

1985

Mississauga, ON, CAN | Mississauga Dixie Hearts

2010-2012

FB- Lauren Sesselmann  

1983

Stephenville, NL, CAN | St. Bernard Elementary School

 

FB- Chelsea Stewart 

1990

The Pas, MB, CAN | Real Colorado

2008-2010

FB- Rhian Wilkinson  

1982

Baie d’Urfé, QC, CAN | Lakeshore

 

FB- Melanie Booth

1984

Burlington, ON, CAN |

2010

M- Kaylyn Kyle  

1988

Saskatoon, SK, CAN | Silverwood Rangers

2006-2008, 2010-2012

M- Diana Matheson  

1984

Oakville, ON, CAN | Oakville SC

 

M- Kelly Parker  

1981

Saskatoon, SK, CAN | Saskatoon United SC

 

M- Sophie Schmidt

1988

Abbotsford, BC, CAN | Abbotsford

2005-2010

M- Desiree Scott

1987

Winnipeg, MB, CAN | Maples Cougars

2006, 2010-2012

F- Jonelle Filigno

1990

Mississauga, ON, CAN | North Mississauga

 

F- Christine Sinclair  

1983

Burnaby, BC, CAN | South Burnaby Metro Club Bees

2001-2002, 2006-2008

F- Melissa Tancredi

1981

Ancaster, ON, CAN | Ancaster

2010

F- Brittany Timko

1985

Coquitlam, BC, CAN | Coquitlam City Panthers

2004-2006, 2012

 

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