Tim Horton honoured by Maple Leafs
Jeri Horton-Joyce at Tim Hortons on Division Street in Cobourg, one of the three locations she owns with her husband Ron and that is named after her late father. ASHLEY MAIKA/Northumberland Today
No other Toronto Maple Leafs player will wear Tim Horton's No. 7 again.
Only two numbers had previously been retired – No. 5 for Bill Barilko in 1951 and No. 6 for Ace Bailey in 1934. Other numbers, such as Horton's, were honoured throughout the years but never retired.
That changed Saturday night at the Air Canada Centre when the Maple Leafs held their Centennial Anniversary home opener as the NHL club retired its previously honoured numbers.
It was a surprise to those on the ice including Jeri Horton-Joyce, who owns Tim Hortons restaurants with her husband Ron in Cobourg (on Division Street) and Colborne. She represented her late father at the special pre-game ceremony.
“We thought we were going out there for the raising of the new banners,” she said. “The old banners had been there since the ACC opened and they sent them to the home towns of the players that were up there. We were in Cochrane Sept. 1 for Dad's.”
When they got on the ice and heard the announcement, she said, “it was pretty emotional. Some of the guys had tears in their eyes.
“But it was very exciting — your stomach just dropped,” she added.
Added to the list of retired numbers were No. 1 (Turk Broda, Johnny Bower), No. 4 (Hap Day, Red Kelly), No. 7 (King Clancy, Tim Horton), No. 9 (Ted Kennedy, Charlie Conacher), No. 10 (Syl Apps, George Armstrong), No. 13 (Mats Sundin), No. 14 (Dave Keon), No. 17 (Wendel Clark), No. 21 (Borje Salming), No. 27 (Frank Mahovlich, Darryl Sittler) and No. 93 (Doug Gilmour).
In addition, Horton was No. 6 last week on a Top 100 Leafs of All Time list, compiled by a 30-member committee of hockey personalities with fan votes also considered.
Last Thursday, statues of Horton, Keon and Broda were unveiled on Legends Row in Maple Leaf Square in front of the Air Canada Centre. There are 10 that now stand there.
"Legends Row was amazing,” Horton-Joyce said. “Everybody should go down and see it. The statues are just so lifelike. It was crazy, it was quite the night there. But that's kind of like making him in brass forever now. He'll always be there so that's very very special as well."