For more than 40 years, John Matthew (Gunner) Lynch was trainer of almost every major sports team in the City. Before, during and following World War II, the Gunner was “Mr. Everything” to these teams – driving the bus, handling equipment, treating players’ injuries in hockey, lacrosse and baseball.
Lynch was born in Manchester, England, in 1907 and came to Canada with his family a year later. They moved to Peterborough in 1920. He started as equipment and team manager in minor sports in the 1930s and soon developed as a trainer with intermediate hockey and lacrosse teams. He was considered a vital member of many championship teams in OHA and Mann Cup competitions.
Gunner’s expertise was in much demand. For eight seasons he worked as a trainer with the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team when it trained here, as well as in Toronto. He was head trainer for the Jr. A Petes for 15 years.