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Holiday sports tradition continues

Lifetime of support paves way for charity soccer game

December 26 is a very special day for soccer fans and families in Powell River.

The Steve Steele memorial game is a holiday tradition that gives people a chance to renew acquaintances, support a charity and take in a pretty good game of soccer.

Steele was perhaps one of the most generous givers of time and his shortened life due to cancer prompted organizers to rededicate this historical game in his name.

Originally the idea of George Richardson, the game raised funds for the Cup of Milk Fund with the proceeds going to the United Nations’ International Children’s Emergency Fund to help children in countries devastated by World War II.

In 1993 it was decided that Steele’s lifetime of achievements in soccer warranted recognition and that funds raised at the game would be redirected to Canadian Cancer Society.

Steele was involved in all facets of the game and as much as he excelled on the pitch, he really shone off it.

His accomplishments are many but, despite his number 10 being the only jersey ever retired and on display at the soccer centre, his memorial soccer and golf events are a testament to his immense popularity.

In soccer he set the bar for future players, coaches and officials in Powell River and laid the foundation for the success of programs in the city.

Those programs extended beyond Powell River to include the peninsula in the men’s league and the development of many players for Powell River Villa in the Vancouver Island Soccer League.

The Boxing Day game is a unique opportunity that brings people together in a soccer atmosphere and often becomes more of a social event than a game.

It’s a bitter sweet day but one that has become as traditional as mistletoe and egg nog and is definitely woven into the historical fabric of the community.

The game will feature Powell River Villa FC2 versus the Senior Men’s All-Star Team and is at 1:30 pm on Wednesday, December 26 at Brooks Turf field.