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Former Vancouver Whitecaps legend Tony Waiters dies at age 83

Click to play video 'Tony Waiters remembered as Canadian soccer icon' Tony Waiters remembered as Canadian soccer icon
Vancouver Whitecaps FC club liaison Bob Lenarduzzi joined Paul Haysom on Global News Morning to discuss the impact Tony Waiters had on Canadian soccer. – Nov 10, 2020

Former Vancouver Whitecaps legend Tony Waiters has died at the age of 83.

The former goalkeeper is being remembered both in Canada and the U.K.

He spent much of his playing career with Blackpool and Burnley and also won five caps for England in the 1960s.

Waiters would later come to Canada, taking over the Whitecaps in 1977 and leading them to their famous upset of the New York Cosmos in 1979.

Under Waiters, the Canadian men also reached the quarterfinals of the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, eventually losing to Brazil in a penalty shootout.

He also coached Canada’s team twice, leading the team to its only World Cup appearance in 1986.

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Vancouver Whitecaps FC club liaison Bob Lenarduzzi told Global News on Tuesday that he will remember Waiters as having “the single-most impact on the game and on the country in that he led us to a soccer bowl championship in 1979 and an interest in the game that reached its height beyond that in 1984 and we went to the Olympics with a quarter-final finish and lost to Brazil.

“And then we went to the World Cup for the one and only time.”

Lenarduzzi added that Waiters was a “tremendously important figure and a very great guy.”

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Lenarduzzi said Waiters was also instrumental in inspiring young players to achieve their goals and he loved to tell stories about his favourite sport.

— with files from The Canadian Press