New Westminster Salmonbellies Retired Jerseys
#5 GEORDIE DEAN – Geordie Dean was a classic example of that kind of two-way player, combining outstanding defensive prowess with a powerful presence on offense. During phenomenal senior career, Geordie played in 53 Mann Cup games in nine series, and winning the cup three times. He played in 506 games and accumulated 1,412 points on 569 goals and 843 assists – including 53 hat tricks, 109 power-play goals, and 53 short-handed goals. Geordie was also rated as one of Canada’s top field lacrosse midfielders, joining the Canadian National Team in 1985. He took part in three world championships that were held between 1986 and 1994.
#6 ERIC COWIESON – When Eric Cowieson donned the Bellies’ red and blue uniform, yet another Royal City legend began. His consistency and quiet leadership saw him named team captain in 1982, an honour he held until his own retirement in 1995. Eric hated to miss a game, often playing injured. In the 1994 WLA playoffs, he sustained a punctured lung. Despite an injury that pained with every breath, Eric played all six games for the Mann Cup. Cowieson had a truly magnificent career: 1,045 total points on 385 goals and 660 assists, four Mann Cup championships, and the Mann Cup MVP in 1987.
#7 PAUL PARNELL – One of the greatest players in Canadian box lacrosse, Paul first played Senior ‘A’ in his hometown of Peterborough. He was lured west in 1960 by the Victoria Shamrocks – but the following year New Westminster managed to wrangle him off the Island. A memorable 15-year career with the Salmonbellies followed as Paul led by inspiration and hard-work ethics. When he retired following the 1975 season, Paul laid claim to 23 WLA longevity and scoring records. Parnell won five Mann Cup rings and was a key member of the 1968 NLA pro lacrosse champions.
#12 JACK BIONDA - Bionda was born in Huntsville, Ontario. From the time he was eleven years old he loved lacrosse, practicing for four to five hours per day. Just before his 19th birthday, Bionda led his Brampton Excelsiors to victory over the Kerrisdale Kerries of Vancouver in the 1952 Minto Cup playoffs.In 1954, he joined the Victoria Shamrocks, capturing the league scoring title and leading the Shamrocks to the Mann Cup tournament, won by Peterborough. He played some games in 1955 and returned to the team in 1957, taking his second scoring title. The Shamrocks won the Mann Cup in 1955 and 1957, but Bionda was unable to play in either tournament due to hockey commitments. Bionda then played for the New Westminster Salmonbellies in 1958 and 1959, winning the Mann Cup both years, and receiving the Mike Kelly Memorial Trophy as series MVP in 1959. He joined the Nanaimo Timbermen in 1960, registering his fifth scoring title with 70 goals and 48 assists, while again leading his team to the Mann Cup tournament, won by Port Credit. He made it to the Mann Cup one last time in 1962 with New Westminster, sweeping Brampton in four games to take the championship. After being held scoreless in the first game, Bionda scored eight goals and eight assists in the next three games to lead his team to the Cup. He was again named the series MVP.
#13 WAYNE GOSS – During his 14-year, 465-game career, Wayne Goss accumulated 812 goals and 1,040 assists for 1,852 points - the all-time assist and point records for Senior ‘A’ box lacrosse in Western Canada. At the time of his retirement, Wayne held 41 WLA scoring and faceoff records and shared four others. He was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1986 and the BC Sports Hall of Fame in 1989. According to Stan Shillington, the legendary historian of the game, in his opinion Wayne Goss was the greatest all-round player in box lacrosse history.
#19 CLIFF SEPKA – Sepka ended his playing career after the 1968 season, but with a great deal more glitter. As playing-coach, Cliff led his Salmonbellies to the National Lacrosse Association professional championship with an upset four games to two series win over Detroit. He used himself sparingly throughout the season, managing just 29 points in 21 games; but during playoff wins over Vancouver, Portland and Detroit, Cliff came through with 54 points in 18 games and was named MVP in the New West Detroit finals. Cliff scored his first point (a goal) on May 1, 1954 in a 14-11 loss to Nanaimo and his last point (also a goal) in the final 22-14 victory over Detroit. Altogether, he totaled 746 goals and 581 assists for 1,327 points in 484 games and was, at the time of his retirement, the all-time scoring leader in the Western Canadian Senior Lacrosse league. Cliff was inducted in the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1973.