Vancouver Whitecaps FC are mourning the passing of Jeff Cross, a pioneer of soccer media in British Columbia and a dear friend of the club.
One of the most highly respected soccer writers in the game, Cross covered the ‘Caps as the beat writer for the Vancouver Province during the team’s inaugural season in 1974. He also served as the team’s soccer analyst on BCTV Television during their early years in the North American Soccer League.
In May 2004, Cross became Canada’s first journalist to be inducted to the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame for his outstanding contributions building the sport, including his works with Manchester City News, New Westminster Columbian and Soccer America. In 1966, the Manchester native became the first writer for a Canadian daily publication to cover the FIFA World Cup, which took place in his home country of England.
Cross was twice the recipient of Canadian Sports Federation Sportswriter and Broadcaster Award, in 1968 and again in 1973.
"Jeff was the dean of soccer in BC, having the most knowledge of the sport, and whose work was the standard of balanced and professional sports reporting," Whitecaps FC president Bob Lenarduzzi said. "As a kid, I always looked forward to his regular ‘Whirl Around the World’ column with updates from different leagues, which was ahead of its time given the limitations of reporting then. He was instrumental in building the profile of the sport in the province. We will miss Jeff very dearly."
Whitecaps FC wish to offer condolences to the Cross family at this time.
(Picture on right: Bob Lenarduzzi and Jeff Cross after the 1988 Canadian Soccer League championship match. Both Lenarduzzi and Cross would retire after that year.)