Floyd Crawford, 88

Captained famed McFarlands to gold

12.11.2017
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Floyd Crawford, the man who captained Canada to World Championship gold in 1959, died in Belleville, Ontario, Canada on November 11 at age 88.

Born in Toronto in 1928, Crawford enjoyed his first success in the Quebec senior league with the Montreal Royals and Chicoutimi Sagueneens in the early 1950s. The left winger developed a reputation such that the Belleville McFarlands recruited him for their team in 1956, and it turned out to be a career-changing decision when he moved back to Ontario near the Quebec border.

“I liked Belleville. I thought it was a good place to raise a family,” Crawford recalled years later about his decision to move.

The McFarlands had only one goal in mind when they contacted Crawford—the Allan Cup. The trophy, emblematic of Senior A hockey supremacy in Canada, was for decades equal in glory to the Stanley Cup, so when Belleville beat the Kelowna (British Columbia) Packers 8-5 in game seven of the hotly-contested series, Crawford became a hero. That win was all the greater because the Macs trailed the series 3-1 and had to win three in a row in Kelwona.

On the strength of this victory, the team was nominated by the CAHA (Canadian Amateur Hockey Association) to represent Canada at the 1959 World Championship in Czechoslovakia. The McFarlands won seven of eight games, losing only to the hosts on the final day when the score was irrelevant.

After retiring, Crawford remained in Belleville the rest of his life. He was active as a coach and mentor to thousands of kids over the decades, at all levels, from grassroots to the OHL Bulls.

As well, he and his wife Pauline raised a family of nine, among them three boys who went on to play in the NHL—Lou, Bobby, and Marc. Marc, of course, later became a coach in his own right, taking Team Canada to Nagano for the first NHL-participation Olympics in 1998. He also led the Colorado Avalanche to a Stanley Cup in 1996.

ANDREW PODNIEKS

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