HAROLD REGINALD ‘HADDIE’ STODDART
(January 13, 1900 – May 13, 1974)
New Westminster Salmonbellies (1920-1924)
Harold ‘Haddie’ Stoddart was born on the thirteenth day of 1900. He started playing lacrosse at age 10 as a junior and later played high school lacrosse when he was a teenager during the years of the Great War. When he was 18, Haddie started playing senior lacrosse with New Westminster and then turned pro two seasons later in 1920 with the Salmonbellies.
For his first two pro seasons, Stoddart played in what would appear to modern observers as a defensive midfielder role. But then in 1922 he switched to centreman and became one of the best midfielders for the Salmonbellies – finishing fourth in team scoring in every season from 1921 through 1924.
‘Haddie’ Stoddart was an all-round athlete but once he turned pro, he was forced to give up the rest of his amateur sporting pursuits. As well as being a star lacrosse player, he excelled at baseball and also played football and basketball. When he was 16, young enough to fall below the amateur jurisdiction requirements against pro players, he was pitching for the local semi-pro baseball club. He also gave two versions of hockey – ice and floor – a go.
During his five seasons as a pro player, Stoddart appeared in 70 matches and scored 38 goals and 45 points – ranking him 12th in career scoring for pro players on the Coast. As well, he picked up 35 penalties for 221 minutes. Statistically, his best campaign was in 1921 when he scored 14 goals in 18 games.
After the pro game collapsed and died suddenly in 1924, due to strict amateur restrictions, players like Harold Stoddart were forced out of the game, unable to play for senior amateur lacrosse teams because of them being forever tainted as ‘professionals’.
Finally in 1933, after eight seasons of watching from the sidelines, the restriction against the former pros was lifted. By this time, most of the old pro players had become too long in the tooth to play in the fast, new-fangled box lacrosse game – but at age 33, Stoddart was still young enough to have some gas left in the tank.
He signed with the New Westminster Salmonbellies of the Inter-City Lacrosse League in 1933, scoring 10 goals for them during the regular season and playoffs. The following season, ‘Haddie’ signed with the cross-town rival New Westminster Adanacs and he scored 32 goals and 18 assists in 19 games. 1935 would be his last season, scoring 20 goals and 45 points for the Adanacs.
In 1923 Stoddart married Inez Adele Collishaw, one of the sisters of the famous Canadian World War One pilot, Colonel (later Air Vice Marshal) Raymond Collishaw.
Harold Stoddart was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame as a Field Player in 1967.
(PHOTO CLHOF X994.82)