VAUGHAN, ON – The Soccer Hall of Fame’s 2010 Class will be inducted on Saturday June 5th, marking the Hall’s 11th induction class.
This year’s banquet will include the first-ever recipient of the Brian Budd Award intended to recognize those who have excelled both in soccer and in another endeavour but who might not otherwise qualify for induction into The Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum.
The candidate must exemplify good character, show outstanding dedication, achievements and leadership in developing soccer in Canada and provide inspiration to past, present and future generations.
The Award is named for the late Brian Budd, who embodies this award through his accomplishments in soccer and beyond. Brian became the most internationally recognized Canadian Soccer player through his participation in the various Super Star Competitions between 1978 and 1980. These competitions were televised all over the world, and brought together world class International athletes that had won regional competitions to compete on the show.
Brian became an international household name for excelling in these competitions, winning himself $170,000 in the process. After Brian won the ABC World Super Star competition for three years in a row, the Brian Budd rule was instigated. This rule stated that an individual could win the competition only three times after which they could not compete again.
Brian’s success and exposure coincided with a spike in soccer registrations in Canada and the U.S. between 1975 and 1980. Not long after Canada and the U.S. began to climb in the FIFA rankings.
Brian’s playing career includes winning a CIAU gold medal for the UBC Thunderbirds in 1974. He played seven seasons in the NASL, with the Vancouver Whitecaps, Colorado Caribou, and Toronto Metros Croatia. He also played at the International level for Canada seven times, scoring twice in World Cup qualification matches.
Brian, affectionately known as “Budgie”, became a well known soccer broadcaster, starting as the colour commentator for the Toronto Blizzard in 1982, and most recently on the Score Network’s Footy Show from 2004-2009.
Two-sport star Peter Zezel has been selected by the Soccer Hall of Fame & Museum Board of Governors as the first recipient of the Brian Budd Award.
Peter was influenced by his father, Peter Sr., who was a very accomplished soccer player for the Serbian White Eagles. Peter was born and raised in Scarborough and played his youth soccer for Wexford Soccer Club. The skills he honed during his years on the pitch helped him on the ice. His soccer background made him a very strong player along the boards, and one of the best face-off men in the NHL.
Zezel was a member of the Canadian Under-21 National Team in the 1982 CONCACAF Youth tournament. He was also drafted by the Toronto Blizzard of the NASL, though he never appeared in a NASL game. During the summer of 1991 he played for the North York Rockets of the Canadian Soccer League.
At the age of 19, Peter joined the Philadelphia Flyers camp. During his first season in the NHL, he made an instant impact finishing 5th in rookie scoring. He scored 61 points and set an NHL rookie record with 46 assists. He had the honour of playing in a Stanley Cup Final only to lose to the Edmonton Oilers. Peter also played for the New Jersey Devils, Vancouver Canucks, Dallas Stars, St Louis Blues and The Toronto Maple Leafs, appearing in a total of 873 games, scoring 219 goals, with 389 assists and a total of 608 points.
Throughout his hockey career Peter continued to play soccer and he would be the first one to state that soccer helped him tremendously during his professional hockey career. As a volunteer, Peter was the Honorary Chairman of the Robbie International Soccer Tournament.
Peter Zezel is remembered as an excellent soccer player, an outstanding hockey player, a charitable man, caring friend, and tremendous teammate.
The Soccer Hall of Fame & Museum was established at The Soccer Centre in Vaughan, Ontario, in 1999 and is dedicated to preserving and researching Canada’s soccer history. The first Induction Banquet took place in 2000.
To learn more about The Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum, visit www.thesoccerhalloffame.ca .
The 2010 Soccer Hall of Fame Inductee Banquet will be hosted at the Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex in Toronto, on June 5th.
Soccer Hall of Fame Contacts
Les Jones – Soccer Hall of Fame Chairman
Colin Jose – Soccer Hall of Fame Historian
For more information contact Rob Ferrari / OSA
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