News Release – June 12 2017

The London Sports Hall of Fame class of 2017 was announced this morning in a ceremony at the home of the Hall, Budweiser Gardens.

This year’s inductees will be formally honoured at the annual Spirit of Sport and Hall of Fame induction event, in early November at the Carousel Room, Western Fair District.

In the inductee lineup for 2017 are:

London Knights – 2015-16 Memorial Cup champions

Jim Cressman – sports reporter and baseball umpire

Dorinda “Dinnie” Greenway – outstanding equestrian competitor, owner and breeder

Jeff Hackett– National Hockey League goalie

Jay McNeil – Canadian Football League player

David Patchell-Evans– rowing champion, fitness advocate, entrepreneur

The Hall of Fame, now in its 16th year of operation, is the brain child of long-time London Free Press sportswriter/editor Bruce Huff whose tireless efforts on behalf of the Hall were recognized with his induction in the Builder/Founder category in 2008. The Hall selection committee reports to the London Sports Council, established by the City of London in 2001.

The inaugural class of inductees included Canada’s Golfer of the Half Century, C. Ross (Sandy) Somerville, Western’s legendary football coach and athletic director John Metras, Pittsburgh Pirates catcher and manager, George (Mooney) Gibson, and the 1948 World Sandlot baseball champs, the London Majors.

Brief bios of the class of 2017 follow this news release.

For additional information contact Tom Dalby: dalbydalby2@rogers.com or 519-438-6382

 

The Class of 2017: London Sports Hall of Fame

2015 – 16 Memorial Cup champions London Knights – Athletes/Modern

  • Tied with Erie Otters for top team in the Ontario Hockey League with 105 points (51-14-0-3) but finished second based on tiebreaker
  • Defeated Owen Sound Attack in six games in the first playoff round
  • Began 13 game undefeated playoff streak by sweeping the Kitchener Rangers, Erie Otters and Niagara Ice Dogs, earning their third OHL championship and fourth Memorial Cup appearance in five seasons
  • At the 2016 Memorial Cup held in Red Deer Alberta, the Knights dominated the round robin, winning 3 games and out-scoring their opponents by a combined score of 20-5
  • Defeated the number-one ranked Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 3-2 in overtime, with Matthew Tkachuk scoring the game-winning goal, thus earning the Knights their 17th straight playoff win and second Memorial Cup championship
  • 6 of the top ten scorers at the tournament were Knights while the top goalie was Tyler Parsons from the Knights
  • 14 members of this team were drafted by NHL teams in either 2015 or 2016
  • 4 members of the team were first-round NHL draft picks in either 2015 or 2016
  • 3 players (Tkachuk, Christian Dvorak, Mitch Marner) played in the NHL’s 2016-17 season

 

Jim Cressman   – Sportswriter-Officiating/Builder Founder

  • Born in London, May 28, 1950
  • Attended Wilton Grove Elementary School where he found his love for sports and in particular, baseball where he started umpiring at age 13
  • Attended Wheable and South secondary schools
  • Started at Fanshawe but withdrew from academics to organize and report on sporting activities at Fanshawe for both the Fanshawe radio and the student newspaper and sending Fanshawe sports reports to the London Free Press
  • While at Fanshawe, Cressman continued baseball umpiring in London and area and officiating in Junior B and Junior A minor hockey
  • Began his pro baseball umpiring career in 1972 when he graduated from umpiring school and earned a contract to umpire in the Appalachian Rookie League
  • In 1973 he advanced to the Class A Florida State League while a year later he earned a promotion to the Double A Eastern League where he umpired for two seasons – 1974 and 1975
  • In 1976 U.S. Immigration changed the immigration rules preventing non-Americans from working in minor league baseball leagues, which was the path to umpiring in the major leagues
  • That year Cressman returned home to umpire minor baseball and began working part-time for the Free Press
  • He obtained a full-time position with the Free Press in 1976, where he worked for 36 years
  • Retired from the Free Press in 2011
  • Covered the London Knights for 19 years, London high school hockey for 10 years and several years automobile racing at Delaware Speedway
  • Umpired at 5 senior world baseball championships, 4 junior championships, the World University Games, the 1988 Seoul Olympics
  • Works for Baseball Ontario and Canada Baseball imparting his umpiring knowledge to young umpires
  • Was a long-time umpire in the Senior Intercounty League
  • in 1990 was named International Baseball Federation Umpire of the Year
  • Continues to umpire for several leagues in London and south-western Ontario

 

Dorinda “Dinnie Greenway” – Equestrian/Builder Founder

  • Born in London, October 10, 1920
  • Full name is Dorinda “Dinnie” Hall-Holland Fuller Greenway (nee Brickenden)
  • Outstanding equestrian competitor/owner/breeder
  • Began competitive riding in 1927 at Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, retiring in 1972. Also an internationally recognized show jumping judge for 45 years
  • Won President of Mexico trophy at first Winter Fair international Jumping competition in 1949
  • Started London Pony Club in 1948
  • Graduate of Tolmers Park Boarding School, Hertfordshire, England, Western University, London and The Sorbonne, Paris, France
  • Rode at French National Riding School, Saumur, France
  • Continued the breeding of sport horses, first started by her parents
  • In 2015 her brood mare won her class at the Winter Fair and was recognized as the 2015 Sport Horse of Canada brood mare
  • Fluent in English, French, Spanish, Italian, German
  • Played on first Western Women’s Ice Hockey team – 1938
  • Driver for Meals on Wheels for 20 years
  • Sponsor of Brickenden Awards for Theatrical Excellence in London
  • Named to the Middlesex County Agricultural Hall of Fame (2016)

 

Jeffrey (Jeff) David Hackett  – Hockey – Athlete/Modern

  • Born in London, June 1, 1968
  • Attend Northridge Public School and A.B. Lucas Secondary School
  • Began his path as a goalie to the National Hockey League playing for the Junior B London Diamonds for 2 seasons and was selected as the First Team All-Star Goaltender in 1986
  • Drafted by the Ontario Hockey League’s Oshawa Generals in 1985
  • Was a member of the 1987 Generals OHL Champions and Memorial Cup Finalist
  • Drafted in the second round (34th overall) of the 1987 NHL entry draft by the New Islanders
  • Member of the 1988 Canadian World Junior Hockey Championship Gold Medal Team in Moscow
  • Began his professional career in 1988-89 with the Springfield Indians of the American Hockey League while also playing in 13 games for the Islanders that season
  • Led the Indians to a Calder Cup (AHL championship) win in 1990 and was named the playoff MVP
  • Drafted first overall in the 1991 expansion draft by the San Jose Sharks
  • Member of the 1995 Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup playoff semi-finalist squad
  • In 1997 with the Blackhawks finished second in league save percentage and third in goals-against average and fourth in voting for end-of-year NHL All-Star team at his position
  • Over the course of his 500 game NHL career also played for Montreal, Boston, Philadelphia
  • Retired on February 9, 2004
  • Served as the Colorado Avalanche’s goaltending coach from 2006 to 2009
  • Now resides in London, where he is involved in minor hockey

 

Jay McNeil  – Football – Athlete/Modern

  • Born in London, August 20, 1979
  • Attended Byron Northview Elementary School and Saunders Secondary School
  • Played football for Saunders – 1985-88 (Captain and MVP in 1988)
  • Played junior football for London Beefeaters – 1989
  • Played football at Kent State University on full scholarship – 1990-93
  • Named to Dean’s List – 1992-93 and Mid-American Conference all-academic team – 1991-93
  • Offensive lineman, Calgary Stampeders, Canadian Football League – 1994-2007
  • CFL Western Division Lineman of the Year – 2001
  • CFL All-Star – 2001, 2002, 2006
  • CFL Western Division All-Star – 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007
  • Played in 4 Grey Cup games, winning in 1998 and 2001
  • Former long-time Vice-President of the CFL Player’s Association
  • Vice-President, Sales and Marketing, for Trinidad Drilling, Calgary
  • Resides in Calgary

 

David Patchell-Evans – Fitness/Builder Founder

  • Born October 26, 1953, Toronto
  • Lost his father at the age of 8
  • Founder/CEO and Owner of GoodLife Fitness
  • Western University graduate (BA – 1977) and Honorary Doctor of Laws degree 2012
  • At the age of 19 while attending University was in a serious motorcycle accident requiring eight months of rehabilitation at the Fowler Kennedy Sports Medicine clinic. This sparked a life-long interest in fitness and rehabilitation.
  • 1978 Patchell-Evans joins a fitness club at Adelaide and Cheapside as part of his training with Canada’s National Rowing team. During his rowing career he competed with the Western Rowing Club, London Rowing Club, St. Catharine’s Rowing Club and Canada’s National Rowing Team.
  • In 1979, using funds from his snow plowing business, he purchased that club then called #1 Nautilus.
  • Patchell-Evans went on to win five championships at the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta, the largest rowing championship in North America, competing in double, quad, and eight-man races. With five Henley trophies to his credit, two in 1977 and ’79 and another title in 1980, Patchell-Evans tried for a spot at the 1980 Olympics. Had it not been for Canada’s boycott of the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, he would have found himself testing his rowing skills against the world’s best.
  • Today there are 375 GoodLife clubs across Canada, with 13,300 employees and over 1.3 million members
  • GoodLife has always been headquartered in London and in September 2016 opened its 60,000 square foot home office and attached Fit4Less club.
  • Awarded Canadian Medical Association Medal of Honor – 2007
  • Married Olympic rower Silken Laumann in 2010
  • Resides in Victoria BC with Laumann and their 4 children