Long-time Hamilton resident, Eversley “Bo” Lewis, received a few memorable presents during the past holiday season that he will cherish for the rest of his life.
Just two days after Christmas, the septuagenarian was inducted into the Hamilton Soccer Hall of Fame.
“This is a very important honour because it says my contributions have been appreciated,” he said. “That means a lot to me.”
Lewis played two seasons with the now-defunct Hamilton Steelers, which competed in the Eastern Canada Professional Soccer League (ECPSL).
“We had good players from all round the world on that team,” said Lewis. “It was like a United Nations side with representatives from Argentina, Italy, Greece, France, the Caribbean and other parts of the globe.”
The Bermudan-born left winger arrived in Ontario in 1962 after spending two seasons with Scottish League team, Aberdeen.
Former Aberdeen teammate Des Herron encouraged Lewis to consider the Canadian port city as a place to play and live.
“Des played in Hamilton and thought it would be a good fit for me,” said Lewis. “He was right because after I finished playing, I never considered moving to any other part of Canada even though I have many friends and family members in Toronto.”
Lewis also played a season with the Boston Tigers of the American Soccer League and with Toronto Hungaria of the Canadian National Soccer League before retiring in 1988.
A few weeks ago, friends and family threw a surprise 70th birthday party for him in Bermuda, where he was vacationing.
“That was a big shock because it was unexpected,” said Lewis, who made his professional debut with Aberdeen on his 17th birthday.
Among the friends at the party was Clyde Best, who was one of the first Black players of the modern era to establish himself in England’s top division. He spent seven seasons with West Ham United and also represented Toronto Blizzard in 1981-82.
“It’s always good seeing Clyde and people that I grew up with and have been close to,” said Lewis. “That’s special.”
Joining Lewis in the Hamilton Soccer Hall of Fame this year is former Canadian striker, Alex Bunbury, who is on the Minnesota Twin Stars Academy coaching staff.
Guyanese-born Bunbury launched his professional career with Hamilton Steelers in 1987. He scored 28 goals in 76 appearances with the club in three seasons before joining Toronto Blizzard.
Two of Bunbury’s three children – Teal and Kylie – were born in Hamilton. Teal is a striker with Major League Soccer (MLS) club New England Revolution, while Kylie is a model and actress.
Bunbury represented the Canadian senior team on 66 occasions between 1986 and 1997, during which time he netted 16 goals. He participated in 28 World Cup qualifiers and was a member of the team that took part in the 1989 FIFA Futsal World championship.
The 47-year-old member of the all-time Canadian men’s team also played for Montreal Supra, West Ham United, Kansas City Wizards and Maritimo, where he was the Portuguese team’s all-time leading goal scorer in the first division with 59 goals in 165 matches. In his second season in 1994, he captured the Foreign Player of the Year Award.
Bunbury was inducted into Canada’s Soccer Hall of Fame in 2006.
The Hamilton Soccer Hall of Fame induction ceremony takes place on May 15 at Michelangelo Banquet Centre.