Tuesday, March 30, 2010

ALVIN "THE SILVER FOX" HORACE RITCHIE - STORY


The following is taken from the Regina Leader Post, April 28, 1956: Al “Silver Fox” Ritchie was born on December 12, 1890, at Cobden, Ontario. He was taken to midland where he got his public, high school and hockey education.

Fascinated with stories of the wild west, he came to Regina in 1910 and got into the construction business with Patsons Construction and Engineering at which time he helped build the Albert and Broad Street subways. Later he helped form Ritchie and McDowough Construction which built four bridges for the Provincial Highway Department.

Al played baseball in those early years with the Metropolitan team in a Local four-team league before the First World War.

During the First World War, he took an officer’s course and joined the infantry. (Photo: Sask. Sports Hall of Fame)

He was transferred to the artillery and served in France. After the war he was discharged, joined the customs service in Regina, and later became the custom and excise appraiser for 37 years.
He was the manager and coach of the Vics Senior Hockey Team in 1921 when they won the Western Canada Championship in 1921 and 1922. Al was named coach of the Regina Pats Junior Hockey Team in the 1923-24 season and organized the Pats Junior Football team in 1925, winning the Western Championship for the next fours years and the Canadian Championship in 1928.

He was the only man in history to have won national championship in both.

Al Ritchie Coached the Regina Roughriders and headed east for the Grey Cup in 1928, 1930, 1931 and 1932. He ended his official football career in 1935. Later he became scout for the New York Rangers and helped the Junior Flin Flon Bombers and Lethbridge teams to join the Rangers farm system.

Al was named to the “Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame” in 1964 and the Saskatchewan Hall of Fame October 31, 1966. He was better known as “The Silver Fox” and died at the age of 75 in Regina on Monday, February 21, 1966.

He was the manager and coach of the Vics Senior Hockey Team in 1921 when they won the Western Canada Championship in 1921 and 1922. Al was named coach of the Regina Pats Junior Hockey Team in the 1923-24 season and organized the Pats Junior Football team in 1925, winning the Western Championship for the next fours years and the Canadian Championship in 1928.

He was the only man in history to have won national championship in both.

Al Ritchie Coached the Regina Roughriders and headed east for the Grey Cup in 1928, 1930, 1931, and 1932. He ended his official football career in 1935. Later he became scout for the New York Rangers and helped the Junior Flin Flon Bombers and Lethbridge teams to join the Rangers farm system.

Al was named to the “Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame” in 1964 and the Saskatchewan Hall of Fame October 31, 1966. He was better known as “The Silver Fox” and died at the age of 75 in Regina on Monday, February 21, 1966.

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Al Ritchie has to be one of the top three coaches for the Regina Pats. The second coach, Murray Armstrong, 1947 to 1955, (Murray played three years under coach Al Richie, 1931-32 to 1933-34). The third coach, Bob Turner, 1965 to 1976. Two years during 1969-1970 and 1971-1972, Bob left the team to do some scouting for National Hockey Leauge teams. Bob Turner played three years under coach Murray Armstrong, 1951-1952 to 1953-1954.

A neighbourhood in east Regina was named after him.  In the same area is a Rink, Community Centre, Core Neighbourhood Centre, and a Health Action Centre Store. Also a Crescent, in the North-West section of the city is named after him.

 Ritchie Neighbourhood - 14th. Ave. East and West of Park St.

 Al Ritchie Arena - 2230 Lindsay St.

Al Ritchie Community Association and Family Wellness Project - 2250 Lindsay St.

Al Ritchie Core Neighbourhood Centre - 445, 14th. Avenue
 
Al Ritchie Health Action Centre - 325 Victoria Avenue