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London City's Harry Gauss dies (Oct 31)


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HARRY GAUSS DIES..................'a cornerstone of CSL foundation' loses three year battle with cancer


Harry Paul Gauss dead at 57

Harry Paul Gauss, who with his father Max (Markus) Gauss launched the London City Soccer Club in 1973 to become the longest continuously run professional soccer club in North America, died at home this Saturday morning at the age of 57.

Harry Gauss lost his three-year battle with brain cancer after being diagnosed with the disease and undergoing a 12 hour operation a week before Christmas, 2006.

London City was launched in the National Soccer League, a forerunner of today’s CSL and through the years became known as a club to which young talented players could turn for a try at high level soccer and a chance at the big time.

Harry Gauss insisted on the club having that strong player development culture, but insisted equally that the club not lose its winning attitude. Several young players from London City had opportunities with overseas clubs with good success.

That policy has been kept alive by son Ryan, London City's present CEO and general manager, who has led the club since his father's illness late 2006

The Gauss family, parents Markus and Magdalene with sons Harry and Reinhart, arrived in Canada in 1958 from Stuttgart, Germany and came to Toronto after a brief stay in Montreal and Winnipeg.

London City had its share of successes through the years and Harry Gauss received a number of individual tributes for his contribution to the game, the most recent being a Meritorious Award from the Ontario Soccer Association presented on November 10, 2007, ‘for special service to the game of soccer’.

Three years ago the CSL initiated a Harry Paul Gauss Award for the person in the Canadian Soccer League which, in the season just past demonstrated ‘exemplary support, commitment and allegiance’ to the league. It’s become known also as The Commissioner’s Award.

Tributes were quick to arrive at the CSL offices, including its outgoing commissioner, Cary Kaplan, who described the death of Harry Gauss as tragic. “It’s a black day for soccer – as the trooper Harry always was, he hung around until the end of the season”, he said.

CSL board chairman Domenic Di Gironimo said “The CSL mourns the loss of one of its pioneers. We will remember Harry Paul Gauss as a cornerstone of our foundation.”

John Knox, the recent president of the Ontario Soccer Association and now an executive member of the Canadian Soccer Association who, as general manager of the Toronto Italia Soccer Club knew Harry Gauss during the NSL days, said: “Harry Gauss was the heart and soul of London City Soccer Club with dedication to his club, to the league and to soccer in the London area never in doubt.”

He was a truly dedicated individual and he will be missed not only by his family but the soccer community as a whole.”

Harry leaves his wife Kathleen -- they met 40 years ago and were married for the past 32-- sons Ryan and Sean, his father Markus, brother Reinhart and sister Linda. He is predeceased by his mother Magdalene and a son, Paul.

There will be a visitation memorial on Wednesday, November 4 at the O’Neil Funeral Home, 350 William Street, London, between 2 and 4 pm and 7 and 9 pm followed by private internment for the family at St. Peter’s Cemetery, London the next day.

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I've followed the league(s) since 1995 and the only .500 record in the league standings was 1999 but London City was always 'there' every season.

Best glimmer I ever saw was in 2004 when they had a recouping Paul Munster from Northern Ireland powere his way to the CPSL scoring title. 25 goals which was 10 better than anyone else that year.

In 2003 they won the Open Canada Cup by pushing themselves into a Wildcat spot by being hosts. Still they had to win three games in three days.

They were amateur (at least the years I was following them) so it must have been hard to attract the best players. Rookies of the Year winners: 1999 Semir Mesanovic, 1998 Tom Bianci, 1997 (not sure but a London Free press article years later said they'd won X years in a row), 1995 John Bottineau. runner up one year was Tyler Hemming.

The family always treated me well when I'd drive to London for tournaments usually on the Labour Day weekends.

Rest in Peace Harry.

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