By Lynn Macnab
During the 1950s, close to 400 people would turn out to watch soccer games at the Father Gauthier field in Lochiel, a sight unseen today.
It may have been primarily to experience the goal-keeping skills of the latest inductee into the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame – Edwin Hay.
The Hay family of Lochiel has a long tradition of athletes who have risen to stardom and been inductees into the hall of fame. Hay is the latest to join their ranks and will be inducted on August 16 in Maxville.
Hay was goalkeeper for the Lochiel soccer team for 20 years during the 1950s and 1960s.
“Now if only we could put a few past Edwin,” said coaches over and over again when playing against Lochiel. “We’re getting close, but not enough.”
Hay was awarded goalie of the year many times.
In 1950, Hay and his teammates went undefeated in their regular season, winning eight games and tying two. The team went on to win the league championship. The next year, Hay didn’t let one goal by him in the regular season, earning him seven straight shut-out games and goalie of the year.
In 1953, Hay and his teammates went undefeated once again, in 12 straight games. Hay only saw two balls go by him that year and it earned the team 24 points in the regular season.
The team won championships in both 1954 and 1955. Hay was nominated best goalie in 1955.
Hay recalls going undefeated in 1956 when the team won ten games and tied two.
“There were hundreds of people watching,” said Hay of the finals against Kenyon.
Not only did the team win that game, but also the Greenspoon Cup and the Alex J MacDonell trophy, with Hay again winning best goalie of the year.
One of 12 kids on a dairy farm not far from the Lochiel field, Hay grew up playing soccer with family and neighbors.
He met his late wife Phoebe Quesnel playing soccer.
“Back then, all the neighbors got together for a game of soccer,” says Hay. “We didn’t have anything organized. We were just having fun.”
Phoebe lived just down the road and has also been inducted to the hall of fame.
Clearly, sports run thick through the Hay family. The father of four children, Scott, Wendy, Darrell and Glenn and grandfather to seven, Hay and his late wife have managed to pass on a love of sports.
“It was soccer in the summer and broomball in the winter,” says daughter Wendy. “But his real love was soccer. He was either coaching or playing.”
During the winter, Hay was assistant coach for his boys’ hockey teams and was so dedicated to the sport that for many years he built an outdoor rink for his kids and neighbors to play on.
“Some of the kids that used to come and play on the rink still talk about those days,” Wendy says. “ They were amazing times and something you don’t see much anymore. My dad was very dedicated to sports and passed his passion on to us and to so many people.”
At 87 years old, Hay is still living on the family farm and enjoying sports watching his grandchildren play.