Bob Sayer, a Lunenburg County soccer legend who's passion for the game goes beyond international borders, is being inducted into the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame. The 79-year-old's major sports accomplishment is expected to be marked this spring coinciding with the national association's annual general meeting.
A resident of Lunenburg, Sayer is retired, "but still a great fan" of soccer and thrilled with the recent honour.
"It means I've been able to be in a situation to make things change and move," he told LighthouseNOW of the recognition. "I got a huge amount out of soccer, as well as putting it back in."
"Canada gives opportunities to people," said Sayer, who immigrated to Nova Scotia from England in the late 1960s.
Sayer's game resume could cover the entire surface of a conventional soccer pitch.
He founded and coached the Lunenburg Lasers and was part of committees behind eastern and national championships in the early 1980s. He also helped lead, and was a member of, the Canada Soccer competitions committee.
"He served as president of Soccer Nova Scotia from 1981 to 1984, and was the founding chair of the Nova Scotia Professional Soccer Society, which established the Nova Scotia Clippers as an expansion franchise in the Canadian Soccer League in 1991," Canada Soccer reported in an announcement posted on its website.
Sayer had significant links to Canada's participation in Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) world championships, and scores of other major tournaments and events in various countries.
"He was also part of Canada Soccer's delegation at the FIFA Congress that approved the launch of the FIFA Women's World Cup," Canada Soccer noted.
Sayer enters the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame with the handle of "builder." He's considered responsible for, and a key supporter of, starting and developing Canada's women's soccer program at national and international fronts.
"Bob Sayer helped guide our vision for women's soccer in Canada and part of his legacy has been the success of players like Karina LeBlanc and Brittany Timko Baxter, from winning a bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games to each representing their country more than 100 times," Canada Soccer president Nick Bontis declared in the statement.
A Canada Soccer life member, Sayer was the organization's vice-president between 1986 and 1992. Check out https://www.canadasoccer.com/news/life-members-bob-sayer-and-the-late-tony-waiters-to-be-honoured-in-2021/ to learn more about his career.
Meanwhile, Sayer is content with where the game has taken him.
"I've gone from Chile to China, from north Africa to Denmark with national teams," he told LighthouseNOW, "so the game has been good to me as well."