Sunday, December 21, 2003

Victor Zurawski Joins WOSL Hall of Fame

Vic Zurawski arrived in London in 1960. Vic
played with Croatia for 4 years in the early 60's
and in those days, they had every nationality
playing for them, He also played for the Dutch
Viscounts, the Dutch Lions and with the German
Canadian Soccer teams.
The Polish Hall was established in London in
1923. A new hall was built on the site in 1954.
In 1967 the White Eagles Soccer team was founded
and the Polish Hall was the major sponsor of the
team. Vic was a member of the executive at this
In 1976 the Polish Hall bought the field at
Nilestown where they once held the stock car
races. It was renamed the Polish-Canadian
Recreational Centre. In 1977 the dressing rooms
were built and the field was ready. In 1988
Victor worked with the Polish Church to sponsor
players and families from Europe to come to
London. He became president in 1991 and held the
position for 5 years
He took the referee course and this gave him an
opportunity know the players in his next soccer
accomplishment. In 1995 He became an executive on
the Western Ontario Soccer League council and
held the position of All-Star Director.
To-day, Vic enjoys working with the youth at his
club. Since they have 2 teams in the Western
Ontario Soccer League, it's apparent that he is
still keeping busy in soccer. We feel that Vic
for his outstanding work in the field of soccer
is very deserving of one of the first Soccer Hall
of Fame awards.

Carmen Fotia Joins WOSL Hall of Fame

Carmen Fotia arrived in London in 1951. Soon a
number of young Italians had arrived in the city
and after several meetings decided to form a
soccer team. Carmen was secretary, treasurer in
charge of raising money for the team, and any
other organizational position for which he might
have been needed.
With the blessing of George Chapman and John
Henderson of the London and District Soccer
Association and a lot of hard work they had a
team ready to play in 1956.They were able to buy
jerseys and socks for $10.00 - what a change from
The name of this first team was the Italo-
Canadians. During these first years, the team
played at Chelsea Green, CNR Field, Gibbon's Park
and Labatt's Park.There truly was a shortage of
good soccer fields at this time. The name of the
team was changed to Juventus until in 1963 it
became the name by which it is known to-day,
the Marconi S.C.
In 1966, Marconi entered and brought the first
Ontario Cup to London. The next step was to raise
money to build their own soccer field. The
Marconi Stadium was inaugurated in 1982. With
players no longer arriving from Europe,
organizers felt it was time to start our own
program to produce good young soccer players. Now
there are programs through the schools as well.
When the senior members at the club mention the
Marconi team from the old days, Carmen feels a
pride in being part of their soccer success.
The league is honoured to present Carmen with a
trophy in this our first soccer hall of fame

Markus (Max) Gauss Joins WOSL Hall of Fame

Mr. Markus (better known as Max) Gauss arrived in
Canada from Germany in 1958. He immediately
involved himself in soccer by acting as General
manager as well as coach of the German Canadian
Soccer team in 1960. This is where he learned to
speak the English language. He was an executive
with the team in 1961, 1962 and 1963. He was
coach of the German Canadians in 1964 when they
won the Division 2 championship.
Also in 1964 he coached the German Canadian team
in the International World Cup in London. This
tournament was played at the end of the regular
season. All players on the teams, which were
mostly ethnic at this time, had to be born in the
country for which they played. Due to the number
of fights that broke out between teams, this
specific cup had to be abandoned.
In 1969, Max , under the German Canadian Club,
brought professional soccer to London. Because of
this, we were able to watch International teams
in London. In 1973 he founded the London City
Soccer Club. Although London City is associated
now with the CPSL they also had a team entered in
the WOSL for a number of years.
Anyone who has stood beside Max at the fence at
Cove Rd.field knows that he has a practical grasp
of soccer and how the game should be played.
Because of his many soccer achievements it is an
honour to present Mr. Markus Gauss with one of
our first soccer hall of fame trophies.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Orphans await soccer gear

PATRICK MALONEY, Free Press Reporter
2003-12-04 03:12:02

Care. Concern. Soccer balls. Such is the baggage Patrick and Rachel Hoefnagelses will be toting in March when they visit a Ugandan orphanage, where children who have next to nothing will receive what the London couple is collecting -- 500 used soccer jerseys, 500 shorts and several soccer balls.
"We're hoping we collect enough soccer jerseys to do teams with the kids," said Rachel, who visited the same 500-child orphanage in Fort Portal, Uganda, a year ago on a Christmas charity tour.
"They call it football, they kick whatever they have around. They're most excited about us coming to do soccer because they've always wanted to pretend they're on a team," she said.
That's life in much of Africa, she says, where the children she met in 2002 had never before received even one gift. The trip -- which Rachel and Patrick are making with their three oldest children, Clark, Luke and Rebekah -- will only be possible if they can collect from the community what they need: 500 used individual jerseys, 500 shorts and soccer balls and pumps.
Rachel stressed the family isn't looking for money, just old uniforms London-area residents no longer need.
"People can dig out old soccer jerseys out of their closets," she said.
"That trip to Uganda (last year) just opened our heart up for the poverty and the sadness that's in that country," she said. "I cried for weeks when we returned."
But the children are happy, she said, because their way of life is the only one they know. That happiness is what has the family returning.
"That's what life is about, it's about giving," Rachel said. "We saw a need to do something, we want to make sure we make a difference. There's more than just Canada and our rich little Western world."
For Heather Manax, who with her husband has donated 500 skipping ropes to the cause, the upcoming trip is a chance for Londoners to work together to do something positive in Uganda.
"Why can't London, as a whole city, make a difference in the lives of some children in Africa?" she said. "The woman at the orphanage is just so excited these kids could get a soccer jersey."