WINNIPEG – Winnipeg’s biggest outdoor soccer facility has a new name.
The Winnipeg Soccer Federation in conjunction with the City of Winnipeg officially renamed the soccer complex on Waverley Street on Sunday. The facility will now be known as the Ralph Cantafio Soccer Complex.
The soccer centre is named after the man considered to be the “Father of Modern Soccer in Manitoba”.
“Ralph has been involved in Winnipeg soccer for generations.” said Winnipeg Soccer Federation Chairman Matthew Duffy. “He’s been a tireless worker both at the grassroots level, he’s helped with the Winnipeg Fury, he’s helped with the senior men’s soccer. He’s done so behind the scenes, often in a quiet fashion but with integrity and class. And Ralph has been a tremendous ambassador for Winnipeg soccer.”
Cantafio, 87, moved to Winnipeg from Italy in the 1950’s and was instrumental in bringing the Canadian Soccer League’s Winnipeg Fury to the city in 1987. He also served as the Fury’s team president and the chairman of the board and is still heavily involved in the sport in the province.
“It’s quite an honour.” said Cantafio. “I didn’t expect anything in return. This is a pleasant surprise for me and a big, big honour. Let’s put it that way. Because what I’ve done, I’ve done because I love it and I’m still doing it even today at my young age.”
Cantafio was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.
“It’s appropriate to name this complex after him.” said Duffy.
WATCH: Winnipeg Soccer Complex renamed
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