Inducted October 16, 1999
This outstanding athlete and dedicated Newfoundlander excelled in many sports – hockey, soccer, tennis and squash. In every sport he was known for his good sportsmanship, dedication to the game and his love for competition. On the ice, the soccer field, the tennis court, his fierce concentration on the puck or ball made him a force to be reckoned with.
As a boy he walked from his home on the corner of Glenridge Crescent to early hockey practices in the new Memorial Stadium. In the same Stadium, as a sixteen year old, he played defence in senior hockey to packed houses and the defending roars of fans rooting for both teams, and as a seventeen year old, he was awarded Athlete of the Year, presented to him on the ice after a game, still in his hockey gear. He travelled to Goderich, Ontario and played in Maple Leaf Gardens with the St. John’s Peewee All Stars. He went all over the province with his teams, the Feildians, Memorial Beothucks and the St. John’s Capitals, prophetically earning the nickname “the Professor” because he used to do some of his university studying en route. He still remembers beating it down to the wharf on Bell Island after having won a game, with Bell Island fans in hot pursuit.
In 1961, at the age of seventeen, Doug was the centre half of the Feildians senior soccer team which won the city championship. He was selected as the league’s Most Valuable Player. But Doug’s biggest thrill in his whole sports career was winning the All Newfoundland senior soccer championship down on the Burin Peninsula, playing with the Feildians against the great Grand Bank Team.
Hockey was Doug’s favorite sport. His main disappointment was that the great Feildian teams on which he played never managed to win the Boyle Trophy, but he did win it with Memorial in 1965 in a great comeback victory over the Guards after being down three games to one. The team attribute much of their success to James Bond, as the whole team and their fans watched Goldfinger in the local movie theatre during the afternoon before each of the final three games. As a defenceman he won several Most Valuable Player and Best Defenceman awards.
Doug left the province to take up his Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University at the peak of his hockey and soccer career, playing hockey for the unbeaten Oxford team and soccer for his college team, which consisted of nine Welshmen, one Canadian (Doug) and one Bermudian (later to be best man at Doug’s wedding). The singing on the team bus was memorable.
Tennis has been the sport which Doug continued to play the longest as a competitive athlete. After winning several provincial junior and senior tournaments during the 1960s, he enjoyed a second career in tennis during the 1970s, winning several doubles titles and the provincial singles championships in 1980. Doug was inducted into the Newfoundland Tennis Hall of Fame in 1995. He is still an awesome presence on the tennis court, competing in age group tournaments and loving the game as much as ever.