Ross, 90, regardless of win or lose has always been a huge Toronto Maple Leafs fan. Hockey has always been a big part of his life. Born in Toronto, Ross found himself immersed in the world of hockey since the age of 5 when he first started attending Maple Leafs games with his father - a long-time season ticket holder who eventually passed them onto Ross and have been in the family for over 50 years. Ross recalls that his seats started off in the nosebleeds, and eventually moved closer to the green section on the blue line.
Ross wasn’t just a spectator of the sport though. He started playing hockey around the age of 11 year and went through all the stages: Peewee, Minor Bantam, Minor Midget, and Midget league.
When asked about the importance and significance of hockey to today’s youth, Ross said “It gives young kids a sense of camaraderie, playing with a team, being a team player, and learning discipline, and it’ll help you later on in your life.”
When Ross was around 18, he was invited to try out for the Junior B Team (Toronto Marlboros) while simultaneously getting an opportunity to go to Corpus Christi, Texas to attend ball school. Ross decided to take his chances in Corpus Christi and eventually got to play for a team and signed a pro contract with the Real Grand Valley League, Class C. However, in 1949, Ross decided to go home after his season had ended because people were being drafted for the Korean War.
Through family connections, he met many hockey legends such as Pat Quinn and Tim Horton. Ross went from being a fan, to being a part of the community which made meeting the team members and the games more memorable.
In 2022, Ross moved into Chartwell Willowgrove with his wife. Due to mobility issues and the use of a wheelchair, Ross felt that attending a game in person again would be too difficult. On April 8th, The Chartwell Foundation was delighted to make Ross’ wish come true by sending him and his son to a Maple Leafs game again!
“It was my life for years, and now to have the chance to see a game live again with my son and enjoy a wonderful evening I think is an amazing feeling, and I have to thank The Chartwell Foundation for giving me this opportunity.”