© Herald Photo by Dave Leaderhouse
Doug Winterton, left, and Jim Bristowe will get their rightful places on the Prince Albert Raiders' Wall of Honour on Friday when they, along with Brad McCrimmon, will be the latest recipients of the hockey club's highest honour. Winterton and Bristowe will be added to the builder's category for more than 40 years each of supporting the team while McCrimmon is to be included in the athlete's category posthumously after an illustrious career that ended much too soon in a tragic plane crash.
They have been familiar faces at the rink for more than 40 years, but on Friday they will be at centre ice as Doug Winterton and Jim Bristowe will be introduced as two of the newest inductees onto the Prince Albert Raiders’ Wall of Honour.
The pair of long-time volunteers will join former player Brad McCrimmon in receiving the hockey club’s highest honour. McCrimmon, unfortunately, tragically lost his life in a plane crash two years ago while coaching a team in Russia, but his family, including Brandon Wheat Kings coach and general manager Kelly McCrimmon will be present to accept the award on his behalf.
For Winterton and Bristowe, their involvement with the Raiders is lengthy.
Winterton moved to Prince Albert in January of 1972 and immediately started going to Raider games. Four months later he was the secretary on the board of directors and held that position for another seven years.
In 1978, Winterton became the president of the Raider Hockey Club and in his first season in that post watched the club capture its second of four Centennial Cup championships. Winterton would remain as president for one more year before moving on to other roles with the club.
“It’s pretty humbling,” said an emotional Winterton recently. “It’s a great honour. To be selected by your peers – it’s quite a shock.”
A group of past presidents is responsible for putting names forward for the honour and Winterton says he had no idea that he was being considered.
“They asked me to go for coffee and told me then,” says Winterton. “I had a few tears.”
Bristowe’s involvement with the team goes back even farther.
Originally asked to help with fundraising for a new arena back in 1969, Bristowe also officiated some games early in the franchise’s history along with being the public address announcer for 27 years.
Bristowe was on the board of directors from 1978-83 and like Winterton has sold programs, 50/50 tickets and been a season-ticket holder for more than 40 years.
“I have to share this with my family,” says Bristowe. “My son Allan was a statistician for the team for a few years and my daughter (Janine) worked with Betty Payton as an usher.”
“This night will be very special for me,” added Bristowe.
In addition to all of their work with the club at the rink, both Winterton and Bristowe also welcomed players into their homes for a number of years. For Winterton, the occasion of being honoured along with McCrimmon is an added bonus as the former defenseman stayed with his family for two years starting when he made the Junior “A” team as a 15-year-old.
“This was a volunteer thing and you had fun with it,” says Winterton. “It’s so shocking (to be honoured).”
The Raiders have been one of the most successful franchises in junior hockey history because of people like Winterton and Bristowe and players like McCrimmon. The ceremony to honour the trio will be held prior to the Raiders and Brandon Wheat Kings game on Friday at the Art Hauser Centre.