Canada’s collegiate football faithful huddle around ailing Lorne Davies


SFU mastermind: Hall of famer helped shape landscape of university sport

Columnist Greg Douglas, a.k.a. 'Dr. Sport.'

Columnist Greg Douglas, a.k.a. 'Dr. Sport.'

Photograph by: Vancouver Sun files, .

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VANCOUVER — Canada’s football clan is rallying around local legend Lorne Davies, who is in the intensive care unit at St. Paul’s Hospital and awaiting a transfer to palliative care.

Simon Fraser University’s first athletic director and inaugural head football coach, Davies has been dealing with kidney and heart issues. Mario Luongo, president of the SFU Football Alumni Society, issued a statement Friday saying that, while visits to St. Paul’s are restricted to family, cards and messages via email at would be greatly appreciated.

SFU’s first chancellor, Gordon Shrum, hired Davies to spearhead the university’s new athletic department in 1965. As curator Jason Beck noted when Davies was inducted into the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame in 2010, Davies masterminded some of the most forward-thinking measures in Canadian university sport. He constructed a program of 18 varsity sports, hired full-time coaches and established the first national training centre located at a Canadian university.

Born and raised in Vancouver, Davies is also a member of the SFU Sports Hall of Fame, the B.C. Football Hall of Fame, Burnaby Sports Hall of Fame, Western Washington University Sports Hall of Fame and was awarded the Order of B.C. in 2000.

He will also be acknowledged in April with the SFU Distinguished Community Leadership Award.

HERE ’N’ THERE: B.C. Lions owner David Braley says “everything’s on the table” as far as the team’s radio broadcast rights go in the local market. The Leos’ arrangement with TSN 1040 expired at the end of the 2014 season. Braley stands by his previous promise to himself that he will sell either the Lions or the Toronto Argonauts “before I’m 75.” He turns 74 in May.

SHORT HOPS: Arnie Hallgren, one of the first B.C.-raised baseball players to make a 40-man major league roster (1953, Boston Braves) has a son and a grandson proudly wearing American League championship rings. Josh Hallgren was in his first year scouting with the Kansas City Royals last season while his dad Tim was a scout with the AL champion Detroit Tigers in 2012. … Journalist Grant Kerr and broadcaster Rob Fai will be inducted into the Vancouver Canadians Media Hall of Fame Aug. 8 at Nat Bailey Stadium. … Alexis Demmery works her final shift Sunday as sponsorship coordinator for the past three years with the Vancouver Giants. She’s been drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in a similar capacity. Alexis passes the torch in the Giants front office to Aubrie Ederer.

END ZONE: One of the toughest defencemen ever to wear a Canucks jersey — Tracy Pratt — will be back in the limelight at Fraser Downs Racetrack Sunday to decorate the featured seventh race. Pratt has 580 NHL games to his credit, including three memorable years with the Canucks in the rollicking mid-1970s.

Columnist Greg Douglas, a.k.a. 'Dr. Sport.'

Columnist Greg Douglas, a.k.a. 'Dr. Sport.'

Photograph by: Vancouver Sun files, .

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