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)




Vancouver Whitecaps FC

GK- Karina LeBlanc 


Maple Ridge, BC, CAN | Golden Ears Angels


GK- Erin McLeod


Edmonton & Calgary, AB, CAN | St. Albert


CB- Candace Chapman 


Ajax, ON, CAN | Ajax United


CB- Carmelina Moscato


Mississauga, ON, CAN | Dixie SC


CB- Emily Zurrer


Crofton, BC, CAN | Cowichan Valley

2008, 2010-2011

FB- Robyn Gayle 


Mississauga, ON, CAN | Mississauga Dixie Hearts


FB- Lauren Sesselmann  


Stephenville, NL, CAN | St. Bernard Elementary School


FB- Chelsea Stewart 


The Pas, MB, CAN | Real Colorado


FB- Rhian Wilkinson  


Baie d’Urfé, QC, CAN | Lakeshore


FB- Melanie Booth


Burlington, ON, CAN |


M- Kaylyn Kyle  


Saskatoon, SK, CAN | Silverwood Rangers

2006-2008, 2010-2012

M- Diana Matheson  


Oakville, ON, CAN | Oakville SC


M- Kelly Parker  


Saskatoon, SK, CAN | Saskatoon United SC


M- Sophie Schmidt


Abbotsford, BC, CAN | Abbotsford


M- Desiree Scott


Winnipeg, MB, CAN | Maples Cougars

2006, 2010-2012

F- Jonelle Filigno


Mississauga, ON, CAN | North Mississauga


F- Christine Sinclair  


Burnaby, BC, CAN | South Burnaby Metro Club Bees

2001-2002, 2006-2008

F- Melissa Tancredi


Ancaster, ON, CAN | Ancaster


F- Brittany Timko


Coquitlam, BC, CAN | Coquitlam City Panthers

2004-2006, 2012