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Walter (Murray) Fife

Born in Asphodel Township, Murray Fife was a gifted hockey player. He joined the Marmora/Stirling Combines Jr. B team for the 1943-44 season and then played Junior B for Hastings in the Trent Valley League in 1944-45. He went on to play for the Junior A Barrie Flyers, and senior for the Owen Sound Mercury’s and the Peterborough Petes. He elected to play overseas rather than join a minor pro league in the USA. This proved to be a good decision for Murray, as he spent the next 12 years 1950-1962 playing and coaching pro hockey and travelling throughout Britain and Europe. Answering a Globe & Mail ad in 1950, he joined the Scottish League and played for Ayr Raiders, Falkirk Lions, Paisley Pirates and the Edinburgh Royals. In his first year with Ayr he scored 85 goals and racked up 128 minutes in penalties. In 1953 he moved to Milan, Italy and in his second year, while playing with Bolzano, he joined the National “A” touring team and travelled throughout Europe, with the team winning 54 of 55 games. Murray went on to play and coach in Switzerland with his final stop in Ljungby, Sweden. With his feisty, snappy style of play, “Fife” the Canadian, gained much recognition in European hockey circles.   He was a worthy opponent despite being small and wiry in stature, he was able to play an aggressive type of hockey displaying great stick handling, good speed and dogged back-checking. Perhaps one of Murray’s greatest moments in hockey was when he coached the Norwegian National Team to a 1961 World Championship “B” Pool title. Murray returned home to play Senior A for the Barrie Flyers in 1962-63. He then returned to his roots and spent the remainder of his life involved in his community coaching and refereeing for over 20 years. He coached the Norwood Legion Juvenile “B” team to a OMHA title in 1965-66.   Murray spent 25 years involved in Harness Racing. He passed away in 2011.

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