Prince Albert soccer community remembers the legacy of Bill Kerr

Longtime soccer supporter and Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame member Bill Kerr has died at the age of 83. --Photo from Beau Lac Funeral Home.

Bill Kerr, longtime ambassador for the sport of soccer in Prince Albert, passed away at the age of 83 earlier this week. He is most remembered for the legacy that he left behind in growing the game, and making it as successful as it is.

Jim Nicholson, who was a good friend of Kerr, says Kerr’s desire to grow the game in Prince Albert was an extraordinary effort.

“Bill was someone that when you met him, you couldn’t help but respect him,” Nicholson said. “He had a tremendous impact on the game. He was one of the people that first got with the High Noon Optimists to sponsor soccer in Prince Albert. Had Bill not originally not gotten them involved with soccer, we probably would’ve never had our first soccer centre.”

Growing up in Scotland, soccer was already a big part of Kerr’s life. His love for the sport carried over when he moved to Canada in 1966, where he was heavily involved in the Prince Albert Minor Soccer program while teaching in the school system at the same time. Kerr was able to produce numerous successful teams, and was recognized for his achievements in 1984, when he was honoured as the Sportsman of the Year.

“People realized that Bill was a real gentleman,” Nicholson said. “He could converse with anyone. It was never ‘it has to be my way’. It was ‘let’s find the best way’. He always put the sport above himself.

“I’m very sad that he’s gone. Him and I had a bond that was unbreakable. I know his kids really well and we all had a great bond. This city has lost a real gentleman, there’s no question about it.”

Kerr was also inducted into the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame in 1996 as a builder, as well as 2002 in the team category. With all of his accolades, Kerr not only left a legacy behind him, but he will forever have an impact on the way soccer continues to grow in the city.

“I got to know him in 1976,” Nicholson added. “He got me involved in soccer in P.A. and we did quite a few things together. We coached teams together and I played for Bill as he was coaching and I was playing. I grew up in Ireland and loved the game, so we had that in common.”

Kerr was also known for promoting Scottish culture, and for his involvement with the Prince Albert Caledonian Society. A Private Family Mass will be held in keeping with his wishes.