TORONTO — Longtime soccer administrator Alan Southard, the first president of the Canadian Minor Soccer Association, has died at the age of 92.
He passed away on Oct. 20.
Southard was both a member of the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame and a Canada Soccer life member.
Under his stewardship, the Canadian Minor Soccer Association grew from 52,000 youth players in 1969 to 200,000 in 1981. The organization changed its name to the Canadian Youth Soccer Association in 1977 and was Incorporated into the Canadian Soccer Association in 1981.
Eric King, Canada Soccer's general secretary at the time, said Southard "made a distinguished contribution to the growth and development of soccer generally and youth soccer particularly at the national level."
Southard also served as president of the Ontario Youth Soccer Association and later as vice-president and treasurer of Ontario Soccer. In 1974, he served on the National Organizing Committee for the CONCACAF Juvenile Tournament, the first CONCACAF competition ever held in Canada (the tournament is known today as the CONCACAF Men's Under-20 Championship).
He served as chairman of the Robbie International Soccer Tournament from 1981 to 1984.
Southard coached in the Toronto area at Scarborough United SC, guiding the women’s team to the Ontario Cup in 1988 and 1991. He led the 1988 team to a bronze medal at the Canadian national championships in Saskatoon.
He was an assistant coach when the team won another Ontario Cup in 1993.
His 1980s Scarborough teams included Vicky Sunohara and Karen Nystrom, who went on to represent Canada in hockey.
Southard was named an Ontario Soccer life member in 1980, a Canada Soccer life member in 1988 and was inducted to the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame in 2003.
"Once I kicked a soccer ball at six or seven years old, my universe turned around football. It’s a passion for me," he wrote in 2003.
Alan William Southard was born July 12, 1928, in Bristol, England, served in the Royal Air Forces during the 1940s and came to Canada in 1957.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 26, 2020
The Canadian Press