Dear WSEU Community:
It is with great sadness that we inform the Soccer community of the passing of Mr. Charlie Ironside. Charlie was an incredible contributor to the growth and development of soccer here in Winnipeg and he will be deeply missed.
Charlie Ironside was one of the three founding fathers of the Winnipeg South Soccer District (before it was called WSEU). Back in the late 80s and early 90s, Charlie was the Director of Premier for WSEU and Charlie did everything for the teams - making sure all players had the jerseys and equipment they needed, setting up a place to practice, collecting team fees and submitting league registrations.
Winnipeg South End United, as a Club and a district, would not be where it is today without the dedicated work Charlie put in in the early years. After stepping down as the Director of the Premier program for South Winnipeg, as it was growing and becoming too big for one person to handle, he continued to coach Premier teams for WSEU.
Charlie continued to coach in the South district at the developmental and recreational levels for many years, most recently coaching his granddaughter's team out of Waverly Heights in 2016.
Charlie's passion for the game influenced many players, coaches and administrative volunteers over a span of decades. Dale Friesen, current WSEU President, recalled the privilege of coaching with him at WSEU when Charlie's granddaughter and his daughter played together in the developmental program. They are both 23 years old now so that certainly speaks to the duration and influence of Charlie's involvement in soccer.
Amber Ostermann, current WSEU Vice-President and Coach recalled Charlie 'interviewing' and then accepting her for her very first coaching position (with WSEU) back when she was just 18 years old. Almost 30 years later, she is still coaching and giving back to the game at WSEU just as Charlie did.
Hadyn Sloane-Seale, WSEU Technical Director remembers ‘Mr. Ironside’ as his first WSEU Coach. Demanding and kind at the same time, Hadyn recalled how he always showed a deep caring for his players helping them to improve both their game and themselves as people.
Rob Zaluski, one of the longest-serving volunteers at WSEU, recalled Charlie's passion, work ethic and desire to help others and was instrumental in pulling some of the above information together for us.
Charlie's passion for the game in Winnipeg brought him to become one of the original members that helped to form the Winnipeg Youth Soccer Association. In the 1990s, it was Charlie Ironside, Harry Harwood, and Dr. Fred Stambrook who formed WYSA and he would later become WYSA President from 2006-2008. In 1992, WYSA established the Charlie Ironside Dedication to the Game Award. Many outstanding individuals received this award, and Charlie was always there to present it. In 2003, he received the MSA Victor Batzel Award of Merit Outstanding Youth Volunteer, and, in 2013 was honored with the highest volunteer award in soccer with the Dr. Fred Stambrook Award of Merit Outstanding Volunteer for all of soccer (minimum 25-year impact).
It is quite easy to see that Charlie Ironside influenced and shaped Winnipeg soccer into what is today. We will miss Charlie and the positive attitude that he brought to the sidelines but, he has left an indelible mark on soccer for which we will forever be grateful.
Our condolences and sympathies go out to Charlie's family and all those who had the pleasure to learn under his tutelage.
There will be a public service on Friday, December 14, 2018 at 10:00 am, at, Thompson In the Park Funeral Home, 1291 McGillivray Blvd.
Click here for the official obituary and to leave a comment for the family.
With information from WSEU and WYSA.