By Greg Douglas – Dr. Sport
SCENE & HEARD: Decked out in his bright blue & white Whitecaps FC coaching gear – team jersey and streamlined trousers – Carl Valentine was blown away when he came through the main entrance at Hastings Racecourse earlier this week.
The security officer in the lobby suspected that one of the all-time fan favourites in Vancouver soccer history would be arriving for a Sports Alumni Day meeting and he was prepared.
“The guard showed me some Whitecaps memorabilia he’d collected dating back 40 years,” a smiling Valentine said later. “I saw some stuff I never knew existed. One package contained images carved onto bottle caps of our entire North American Soccer League championship team in 1979. It was awesome.”
Valentine, today a Whitecaps FC club ambassador, will be one of many Vancouver sports legends gathering under the Marquee Tent at Hastings next weekend on Sunday, July 29.
Members of the Alumni organizations from Whitecaps FC, Vancouver Canucks, BC Lions and the Hastings jockey colony will be donating their time for charity as racing fans get a chance to mix and mingle with dozens of legends from Vancouver’s sporting past.
All four Alumni groups will have purses named in their honour on the regular Sunday afternoon live racing card. Mascots Fin (Canucks), Spike (Whitecaps FC) and Leo the Lion along with the famous Felions Dance Team will be patrolling the grounds throughout the afternoon that includes a monster silent auction and 50/50 draw.
Spokespersons for the Alumni are Kirk McLean, Gino Odjick and Harold Snepsts from the Canucks; the Lions’ Sean Millington, Nick Hebeler and Jamie Taras; Valentine and the brothers Bob and Sam Lendarduzzi from Whitecaps FC and former jockey greats Chris Loseth, Tommy Wolksi and Chad Hoverson. They will all be joined by an ever-growing list of former teammates from over the years.
Joey Kenward, horse owner and hockey broadcasting analyst for the NHL Canucks and WHL Giants with Sportsnet 650, will be hosting Q&A sessions in the Marquee Tent where admission is $25 with all sales going to the designated charities.
Tickets to the Marquee Tent VIP meet & greet can be obtained online at vancouversportsalumni.com or on-site July 29.