Red Kelly one of many sym­bols of Leafs’ long con­nec­tion to mil­i­tary

Medicine Hat News - - SPORTS - JOSHUA CLIP­PER­TON

TORONTO Red Kelly did his part to sup­port Cana­dian forces over­seas dur­ing the Sec­ond World War by work­ing on the fam­ily farm when he wasn’t play­ing hockey.

Just 12 years old when hos­til­i­ties broke out in 1939, Kelly won­ders to this day what might have been had the con­flict stretched be­yond 1945.

“We got a plaque for con­tribut­ing to the war with the food,” the 91-year-old Hall of Famer re­called. “I was too young (to fight).

“If it had gone on an­other year or two, it might have been dif­fer­ent.”

Kelly, whose NHL ca­reer started in 1947 and stretched 20 sea­sons with the Red Wings and Maple Leafs, later trav­elled to visit sol­diers serv­ing in the Korean War, even pro­vid­ing an in-per­son film nar­ra­tion of one of De­troit’s Stan­ley Cup vic­to­ries.

“I spent some time with them,” Kelly said. “Sleep­ing in the tents out there — five blan­kets over top of you and four un­der­neath — it got pretty cold at night.”

Traded to Toronto dur­ing the 1959-60 cam­paign, Kelly joined a group of fel­low alumni and cur­rent play­ers at the city’s Sun­ny­brook Vet­er­ans Cen­tre this week ahead of Sun­day’s Re­mem­brance Day that will mark the 100th an­niver­sary of the end of the First World War.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.