Crawford family has a legacy of success

by | 1950's-1960's, 1970's-1980's

By Aaron Bell

When Floyd Crawford first moved to Belleville in 1957, he had a feeling it was going to be a good fit for him. More than six decades later, Crawford and his family’s legacy are part of the history of our community.

Floyd came from the salt mines in Northern Quebec to play for the upstart Belleville McFarlands. He helped the team win the Senior A Canadian championship Allan Cup in 1958 and then the World Championship for Canada in 1959.

Those championship wins helped to define his family tree and Crawford’s nine children all took that legacy seriously. The Crawfords have likely won more hockey championship trophies that any other family in the world.

The Memorial Cup, Robertson Cup, Turner Cup, Stanley Cup, Allen Cup, Sutherland Cup and Calder Cup. These trophies symbolize hockey champions at virtually every level of the game across North America.

Every one of them has the Crawford name on them.

The most recent addition to the family championship trophy case is the Nationalliga A championship trophy that Marc Crawford helped Zurich win in 2015.

“Living in Belleville under what Floyd had  accomplished as a hockey player was something that we really didn’t take notice of at the beginning,” said Lou, who won the Memorial Cup as a player with the Kitchener Rangers and then coached the Belleville Bulls to their only OHL championship in 1999.

“More we appreciated it as we grew up and when we ventured off into our different fields.”

The children all inherited Floyd’s never-back-down competitiveness but they also point to their mother Pauline’s athletic ability and determination as an important part of their development as athletes and people.

Right from the start, the Crawford kids learned how to play to win.

“There were always lessons about sports, but life too,” said Danielle Yohn, the second youngest of the Crawford children. “Through sport you learn a lot about life. Teamwork, defeat and camaraderie. We learned that sitting at the kitchen table every night for dinner.”

While Marc is chasing the Stanley Cup with the Ottawa Senators, youngest sibling Eric is doing his best to help build the Montreal Canadiens into a championship contender. Lou is also still in the game, working as a scout with the Vancouver Canucks. Eric and Lou are still based in Belleville.

Bob is sharing his hockey knowledge in a different way, helping thousands of youngsters learn the game in his rinks in the Hartford, CT area.

They all bring the lessons that Floyd and Pauline gave them in their youth.

“There wasn’t a game that he didn’t think he couldn’t win,” said Bob, who played parts of seven season in the National Hockey League and scored a career-high 36 goals and 61 points with the Hartford Whalers in 1983-84. “There wasn’t a level that he didn’t think that kids were able to reach.”

Todd Crawford is a teacher at Moira Secondary School and coached Canada’s team when Belleville hosted the World Under-19 Floorball championships in 2016.

Crawford and his team were fantastic ambassadors for the City of Belleville to the 15 visiting teams from around the world.

He saw the same qualities in his parents during his childhood.

“My parents were fantastic ambassadors in the city,” Todd said.

“My mother especially was always making sure we were towing the line and going to school and going to church. We always managed to not embarrass my mother too much.”

The Crawford name has become synonymous with the City of Belleville. While many of the Crawfords are spread out across North America – and Italy in oldest sibling Susan’s case – they all carry a bit of Belleville with them wherever they go.

“My dad and mom have always said that Belleville is a great place to raise kids and it really is,” said Marc, whose son Dylan is a video coach for the Belleville Senators and recently moved to Belleville.

“You think about how many advantages there are to being in a community like Belleville. It’s got a great hometown feel yet it’s close enough to all the amenities of bigger cities whether it’s Kingston down the road, Ottawa is not too far away or certainly Toronto. I think it’s perfectly situated and it’s a beautiful spot.”

From Belleville Magazine (printed 2017)

Photos courtesy the Crawford Family

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