Inducted November 3, 2007

William J. Breen - Athlete

William “Bill” Breen is one of those rare Newfoundland and Labrador athletes who accomplished the feat of winning two Canadian team championships in two major sports – soccer and hockey. In 1988, Bill was a member of the Holy Cross squad that won the national Challenge Cup championship for senior amateur soccer. In 1986, he was a member of the Corner Brook Royals hockey team that won the Allan Cup at the senior amateur hockey championship. At the provincial level, Bill was a member of the 1977 Canada Summer Games soccer team and the 1979 Canada Winter Games hockey team. Bill ranks with the finest soccer players to ever perform within the province. He possessed an impressive ability to control and place a ball and was a fearless defender who never shied away from the physical aspect of soccer. Bill utilized his height and strength and was especially effective in heading balls away from his goal area. From his centre-mid back position, Bill’s fine passing, often covering a long distance, was a major weapon in his team’s attack effectiveness. Holy Cross claimed 15 consecutive St. John’s first division soccer championships after Bill joined the squad in 1974. As a member of the Holy Cross masters team, Bill has earned five St. John’s titles and three provincial titles. In total, Bill has 11 provincial soccer titles to his credit. He was a member of the Holy Cross squads that represented Newfoundland and Labrador in the national Challenge Cup championships, earning one gold medal, one silver medal, and one bronze medal. Selected as an All-Star every year of his soccer career, Bill was also voted Most Valuable Player three times in five appearances at the Atlantic Challenge Cup playoffs. The highlight of his soccer career was being selected to play for Canada’s national junior team at the 1975-76 CONCACAF tournament in Puerto Rico. Bill also happened to be one of the best hockey players in the province from the mid-1970’s to the late 1980’s. He was a solid defenseman with a strong skating ability and a natural talent to “see the ice”. Bill was often at his best in a physical game, using his size to good advantage. His hockey accomplishments include the 1986 Allan Cup national championship (the only Allan Cup ever won by a team from Newfoundland and Labrador), four Herder Memorial Trophy seasons, and Atlantic and Eastern Canadian senior championships. For his contribution to hockey and soccer, Bill was inducted into the Newfoundland and Labrador Hockey Hall of Fame and the Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Hall of Fame.