VANCOUVER, BC - The Class of 2016 for the BC Sports Hall of Fame was unveiled today and Vancouver Whitecaps FC was well represented.
Club legend Carl Valentine and part-owner Steve Nash will both be among next year’s inductees, which will be the Hall of Fame’s 50th induction class, in the athlete category – as will Geri Donnelly, an original member of the Whitecaps FC women and Canadian women's national teams. The late Harry Manson, a First Nations soccer hero, will be inducted in the pioneer category.
The induction ceremony will be held on June 9, 2016.
Carl Valentine = legend
One of the all-time fan favourites in Vancouver professional sports and a member of the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame, Valentine is the club’s all-time leader in appearances with 409 and fourth all-time in goals scored with 65.
The English-born talent arrived in Vancouver for the start of the historic 1979 season and became a key contributor to the club’s run to the NASL Soccer Bowl. Valentine would stay in Vancouver until the NASL folded following the 1984 season and would go on to join West Bromwich Albion back in England.
The winger represented Canada in the 1986 FIFA World Cup and in 1987 he returned to Vancouver to become a key member of the 86ers team that went on to win a remarkable four straight CSL championships from 1988 to 1991.
Valentine, who was inducted into the Whitecaps FC Ring of Honour last year, played 19 seasons in Vancouver and remains with Whitecaps FC today as club ambassador and Residency staff coach. Valentine will join Bob Lenarduzzi, Andrea Neil, and the late Domenic Mobilio as Whitecaps FC Ring of Honour inductees in the BC Sports Hall of Fame.
Nash, a part owner of Whitecaps FC, is one of the greatest Canadian athletes of all-time.
Although he made a name for himself in basketball, playing over 1,000 games in the NBA and earning accolades as an eight-time league all-star and two-time MVP, Nash is a lifelong soccer player/fan. Soccer runs in the family as well. His younger brother Martin played for Vancouver during the USL days.
Earlier this year, Nash took part in a training session with Whitecaps FC – not the first time he’s done so. And last offseason, he took Kekuta Manneh under his wing in LA as part of the youngster’s training offseason training program before spending some time with Matias Laba in Argentina.
“I’ve also known Russell [Teibert] since he was in the academy and same with some of the other boys,” said Nash, who announced his retirement from the NBA earlier this year.. “It’s great for me to develop some relationships with the guys and follow their careers. I’m just a big fan of the Whitecaps. That’s how I feel. I don’t feel as much of an owner as I do just a massive fan.”
Be a part of the best sporting atmosphere in Vancouver! 2016 Whitecaps FC Season Tickets are on sale from $39/month all in. In addition to Season Tickets, Whitecaps FC offer a flexible range of ticket products, including Half-Season Packs, 5-Packs, a Youth Soccer Half-Season Ticket, and single match tickets. For more information, visit whitecapsfc.com/tickets.