Field Hockey Canada > Farewell to the King

Farewell to the King

Submitted by Victor Warren and John McBryde

February 1, 2021 | Field Hockey Canada |

Ian Johnston, Canada’s first ever field hockey captain, passed away on December 11, after a long battle with Parkinson’s

Ian, who was born near Dublin, Ireland in March 1929, played for many years with the Grasshoppers H.C. after he arrived in Vancouver, before playing for B.C. and then for Canada in 1962. That year a test match was played in New York against the United States, a 1-0 victory for Canada.

The following year, 1963, The Canadian Team went to Lyon, France to play in a tournament which had three matches scheduled against the U.S.A., and the winner would qualify for the 1964 Olympic Games in TOKYO. Canada qualified and defender, Ian Johnston, scored one of Canada’s three goals against the U.S.A.

Owing to a family situation, the “King,” as many of his hockey friends called him, was not able to assume the duties of captain, but he was a key member of Canada’s 1964 Olympic Team. Later on, Ian was Co-Captain of the 1967 Canadian Pam American team in Winnipeg, where Canada finished fourth.

Ian leaves one son, Alan, and three daughters, Adele, Anne, and Kay, as well as four grandchildren, Ryan, Rebecca, Lucas and Megan who will all miss him greatly. His wife Martha, was always very supportive of Ian’s hockey career. After his hockey career ended, Ian played a lot of golf, and remained friends with his hockey buddies for the rest of his life.

His many hockey friends will not forget all the good times they had as a result of knowing “The King.”

Rest in peace, Ian.