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BC Soccer extends its sincerest condolences to the family friends and former colleagues of Tony Waiters

The former England Goalkeeper who achieved two remarkable feats in Canada, passed away on Monday at the age of 83

November 10, 2020 – Vancouver BC

The game of soccer in BC and Canada has lost a true giant in Tony Waiters, who was as successful on the field, as he was generous with his time off it.  

An advocate for the game and particularly the development of children, Tony was an early champion of making field and goal sizes smaller for younger players, so that they could get more touches and have more fun in their critical early years.  Through his company “World of Soccer” his Byte Size Coaching methodologies and resources are still used by coaches of young players across the globe. 

His playing career as a goalkeeper, most notably Blackpool, earned him 5 English Caps at a time when Gordon Banks was leading the country to its 1966 World Cup triumph.  He would have debates with England Coach Sir Alf Ramsey about the virtues of throwing the ball to his team-mates, rather than simply kicking it skyward, in the hopes of retaining possession.  It was clear even then, that Tony Waiters was destined to become a coach. 

Famously, he guided the NASL Whitecaps to an unlikely Soccer Bowl Championship in 1979, an event which may have contributed to one of the games biggest growth periods in BC.  He was able to reunite with many of those players during last year’s 40th anniversary celebration of the Soccer Bowl.   Just six years after that North American Championship, he led Canada’s Men’s National Team to its one and only World Cup appearance, with a largely BC based squad that competed admirably in Mexico in 1986. 

But despite those incredible accomplishments, Tony’s continued work coaching young children in the hopes that they could one day become the next generation to experience success for club and country, brought him the most joy.  There is a certain humility that comes with shepherding a group of 6-year old’s; pumping balls and picking up cones, which wasn’t lost on his former professional players, many of whom also pursued coaching. 

Although he will leave behind an incredible legacy in the game and would happily share stories about the past with razor sharp detail, Tony Waiters was most proud of his family, wife Anne, and Children, Scott and Victoria. 

On behalf of everyone in the BC Soccer Community, thank you Tony and rest in peace.

About BC Soccer

Established in 1907, BC Soccer is the largest provincial sports organization (PSO) in BC and the third largest soccer-specific PSO in Canada with over 150,000 participants, consisting of registered players, coaches, referees, administrators and soccer leaders. As a professional not-for-profit society and a member of Canada Soccer, BC Soccer is committed to providing the widest opportunities for existing and potential participants, as well as provide support in the most effective and appropriate way for current players, parents, volunteers, member clubs, leagues, and districts.

Safe Sport Statement

BC Soccer believes that everyone involved in soccer has the right to participate in safe and inclusive environments free of abuse, harassment, discrimination, and to enjoy the sport at whatever level or capacity they participate in.

The welfare of everyone involved in soccer is the foremost consideration and in particular, the protection of children in the sport is the responsibility of everyone involved.