JOHN FRANCIS ‘DOT’ CROOKALL
(February 6, 1889 – May 31, 1965)
Vancouver Athletic Club (1913)
Vancouver Athletics (1914)
Vancouver Lacrosse Club (1915)
Vancouver Greenshirts (1918)
Vancouver Terminals (1919-1923)
After Édouard ‘Newsy’ Lalonde, ‘Dot’ Crookall easily ranks in as the second-greatest player to suit up for Vancouver during the pro lacrosse era. He turned pro during the 1913 season when Vancouver Athletics challenged for the Minto Cup. He then played the following 8 seasons for the various Vancouver Minto entries: the Athletics, Vancouver Lacrosse Club, Greenshirts, and then the Vancouver Terminals – appearing in 98 matches and scoring 140 goals and 8 assists before bowing out prior to the ill-fated 1924 season. Prior to becoming a professional player, he played two seasons of senior lacrosse with Vancouver Athletic Club in 1911 and 1912.
His position was inside home, which was previously occupied by teammate ‘Newsy’ Lalonde before ‘Dot’ joined the team – and with Newsy subsequently switching over to outside home, the pair made a formidable attack on the goal crease. In career scoring, John Crookall ranks fourth behind Lalonde – the two line-mates are tied with 148 points, but Newsy played 5 less games and scored 7 more goals – and the Spring Brothers of New Westminster.
John ‘Dot’ Crookall was one of the inaugural inductees to the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1965 and he is one of just three field lacrosse players from the era also in the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame; inducted two years later. He was born in Toronto, Ontario and his last known residence was at Snug Cove on Bowen Island, British Columbia – where he was known as one of the callers at local square dances in the 1930s and 1940s. Outside of lacrosse, he was also known as a baseball umpire.
(PHOTO SOURCE: CLHOF X994.144)