Lifelong friends who bled purple and gold for the better part of three decades will fittingly be inducted to the Richmond Sports Wall of Fame together.
Ian Anderson and Doug Staveley were classmates and teammates at Lord Byng Secondary in Vancouver. They attended UBC to earn their teaching degrees and both ended up at Steveston High to have significant roles in Packers Athletics.
Now 76 and 75 respectively, they will join elite company as Wall of Fame members on Sept. 29 — with eight other inductees at a special ceremony at city hall.
On a brilliant late summer afternoon, the South Delta residents were appropriately interviewed standing in front of the football goalposts at Dennison Park in Tsawwassen.
It was on the gridiron field where Anderson and Staveley spent much of their lives as volunteer coaches making a difference for so many.
They were coached at Lord Byng by the legendary Matt Phillips, a wall of fame inductee himself in 2016.
“We played two seasons together but in the same year,” Anderson pointed out. “In 1959, high school football switched from a spring to a fall sport. So we played spring for the last time then again a few months later in September for my Grade 12 year.”
They briefly continued their careers at UBC before finding a better fit with the Thunderbirds rugby team.
Anderson graduated in 1968 and took interest in teaching in the Richmond School District where Phillips had launched the football program at Steveston and was looking for help. He initially taught social studies and business classes.
Staveley also volunteered as an assistant while still finishing up his degree and later landed a job at Steveston too. Phillips had a huge influence on both becoming coaches.
“Neither of us would be standing here today if it wasn’t for Matt Phillips,” quipped Anderson. “He has forgotten more about football than I would ever know.”
Phillips left Steveston in 1972 and Anderson and Staveley were apppointed co-head coaches. That lasted for about a year before Staveley felt more comfortable giving the head reigns entirely to Anderson.
The pair helped establish the Packers as one of the top programs in the province which led to an epic cross-town rivalry with the Richmond Colts. They annually contended for the Jim Jordan Trophy.
“If you wanted to compare it to anything it was like the Apple Bowl in Washington State or the Dual of the Desert in Arizona. Those interstate college rivalries down south,” said Staveley. “Those games make or break their coaches. It’s obviously not like that here but they were absolutely huge.”
Asked if any of the Jim Jordan battles stand out, both recalled a lopsided Packers upset victory at Richmond High in the mid-1970s. The Colts were turned back at the goal line on an early fourth down gamble and on the ensuing play, Steveston quarterback Al Chorney hit Hal Lund for a 100-yard pass and run play. Both went on to play in the CFL.
“We ran the wishbone so nobody was expecting that. “He must have been at least 10-yards behind coverage.
“What was interesting about the rivalry was for 51 weeks of the year they played on the same lacrosse team, same baseball team, hockey team or soccer team but for that one week they hated each other,” laughed Anderson who is also inducted in the B.C. Football Hall of Fame.
Staveley was also a big part of the Steveston basketball program, guiding the intermediate boys team for a number of years and the senior girls for another.
He served as an assistant coach for Kent Chappell and Anne Gillrie-Carre and was part of the two biggest wins in school history — the 1984 boys and 1993 girls provincial finals — that produced championships.
“On paper, we shouldn’t have been within 20 points of them,” recalled Staveley of the 84-59 win over the Colts in the all-Richmond boys final. “But our guys worked their butts off, especially on defence and Gareth Davies just couldn’t miss (scoring a tournament record 45 points).
“The girls win was in our own gym which made it even more special and we had lost to New West in the Lower Mainland final at BCIT a couple of weeks earlier.”
Both continued coaching football after retiring.
Staveley helped out the Haddow brothers at Hugh Boyd then was reunited with Anderson for stops at Lord Tweedsmuir and Earl Marriott where Phillips was still involved.
“My wife had passed away and figured what the hell am I going to do with myself,” said the always colourful Anderson. “Matt was still coaching so I called him.”
Both men are grateful of their wives for allowing them to be so involved so much in high school athletics. Football season typically meant weekends were spoken for from September until early December. Still, both agree it was the highlight of their teaching careers.
“I think a lot of young kids coming into teaching today are missing out on the best part of teaching,” said Anderson. “You are working with kids who are highly motivated and want to be there. And it was fun.”