Six individuals have been named to the Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association’s Hall of Fame for 2016.
The newest inductees include Mike Howlett, Harry Kelly, Malcolm Osmond, William (Doc) Slaney, and Bob Spearns in the Athlete Category, and Dr. Paul Slaney as an Athlete/Builder.
NLSA 2016 Hall of Fame Inductees
From his early years as a soccer player, Mike Howlett demonstrated that he was going to be a player of record when it came to scoring, particularly when the game was on the line or a big goal was needed. His scoring touch was such that he was usually found playing above his age category. At the age of fifteen, he began his senior career with St. Lawrence and for the next 15 years he split his time with the St. Lawrence Laurentians and two teams in Calgary.
Throughout his career, Mike’s success on the field had been exceptional. At the national level, his Calgary teams represented Alberta six times while winning the National Challenge Cup gold medal twice. At home, his St. Lawrence team represented the province twice at Nationals, winning the Bronze Medal along the way. Individually, however, is where his value starts to show. His time in Alberta earned him two scoring titles and five All-Star selections. Back in his home province, Mike was three times an All-Star, while winning two scoring titles and being twice named MVP. For his efforts in 2008, he was named the NLSA Senior Player of the Year.
Dedication and hard work are hallmarks of the career of Harry Kelly, as he helped lead his St. Laurentians to nine Provincial Challenge Cup championships during his 15 year career. His leadership was also instrumental at the National Challenge Cup as St. Lawrence came away with a silver and bronze medal during that period.
Harry’s dedication to excellence was also rewarded with a number of individual awards and recognitions. His play in Provincial Challenge Cup was recognized with seven All-Star selections, two MVP awards and a scoring title. In 1998, Harry’s fine play earned him the designation of NLSA Senior Male Player of the Year. For a decade of success, his team was chosen NLSA Team of the Decade and he, a finalist for Player of the Decade.
To complete an already successful soccer career, Harry was part of a very powerful St. Lawrence Masters team which won 10 Provincial Masters championships along with two Eastern Canadian Masters gold medals and one silver medal.
Those who say nice guys never win, never had the privilege of knowing Malcolm Osmond. Throughout his twenty year soccer career with the Grand Bank Gee Bees during the 1950’s and 60’s, he exemplified the qualities of an outstanding athlete. His exceptional sportsmanship shown to all teams and players, along with his positive attitude and fair play, earned him the respect of the Burin Peninsula soccer community.
In 1951 at the age of 18, Malcolm was selected to the Burin Peninsula All-Star team. From 1957 to 1964, Malcolm’s Grand Bank team won six Burin Peninsula senior championships and two Provincial championships. His outstanding play during the 1962 provincial championships earned him the MVP of the tournament. His team’s overall excellent play during the 1960’s earned the distinction of NLSA Team of the Decade.
Malcolm is also a member of the Grand Bank and Burin Peninsula Soccer Halls of Fame.
Bill “Doc” Slaney
Bill or “Doc” Slaney as he was called, was recognized for his leadership and motivational ability within his team and among young players. This leadership ability earned him the title of ‘Team Captain’, a position he held for four years. Known for his strength in the air and the ability to shoot with both feet, he was regarded as a prolific goal scorer of his era.
Beginning his playing career in1947, Bill helped his St. Lawrence team to seven straight Burin Peninsula championships for a total of eight in all. At the provincial championships, he helped lead his team to victory three more times.
After his playing career was over, Bill entered the world of coaching. There, he helped guide St. Lawrence to another provincial championship, an Atlantic championship and saw St. Lawrence represent Newfoundland and Labrador at the first Eastern Canadian Challenge Cup championships in 1967.
To cap off his career, Bill was inducted into the St. Lawrence and Burin Peninsula Soccer Halls of Fame.
Dr. Paul Slaney
Paul Slaney was considered a genuine sportsman, as he combined skill and finesse to his position as a midfielder. His abilities were recognized through eight provincial Challenge Cup All-Star selections. His composure in challenging situations played a major role as his St. Lawrence team compiled 11 Provincial Challenge Cup championships. At the National Challenge Cup, Paul’s leadership was once again evident as he helped his team to a National silver and bronze medal.
After a successful playing career, Paul entered the field of coaching. There, for 12 years, he used his attributes as a player to successfully mould provincial age group players into up and coming stars. His ability as a coach is also evident by his two Canada Games coaching appointments and two provincial Challenge Cup championships.
Paul was also a member of the St. Lawrence team which was named the 1990’s NLSA Team of the Decade. In addition, he was a finalist for the 1990’s Player of the Decade.
Bob Spearns combined technical ability and leadership to lead his St. Lawrence Laurentians to nine provincial Challenge Cup championships during a 15 year Challenge Cup career. His leadership on the field earned the respect of his teammates and from players and coaches throughout the league. During his career he served as team captain for eight years, was named an All-Star seven times, selected league MVP twice and was named the league’s Top Defender four times.
In addition to his provincial Challenge Cup championships, Bob was instrumental in helping his St. Lawrence team to silver and bronze medals at the National Challenge Cup championships. To go with his national Challenge Cup medals, he also earned a gold and silver medal at the Eastern Canadian Masters championships. Highlighting his team’s success, the NLSA named St. Lawrence the 1990’s Team of the Decade. To further cap off an already brilliant career, Bob was named the Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association’s Player of the Decade for the 1990’s.