Days of Yore

Haddon A.C.
as recounted by

Bill Day

 


Haddon A.C.
In the late 1920’s our winters were all like the weather of December 1976 and January 1977.  The Evans Lake was the scene of daily ice hockey games that the local boys really enjoyed.

One boy, Ed Laird, read in a newspaper that an amateur ice hockey league as being formed that would play before the big games of the professional Sea Gulls in the new Convention Hall in Atlantic City. Ed got together with Eddie Clement and they entered a team in the new league which they named the Haddon A.C.  The team was comprised of Dick Fitzwater and Chan Archer as defensemen, Eddie Laird was the goalie, and at the wings were Prel Craves, Shorty Van Hart, and Eddie Clement.  Backups were John Marter, Walt Tule and Tommy Holloway.  An alternate was Chris Ebensberger.

When there was no ice on the lake, practice was held in the high school gym, with drilling in passing and plays, with sneakers being worn.  At the first game down in Convention Hall the boys were booed for their appearance as they had no regular uniforms.  Ed Laird at his goal tending job wore a baseball uniform with pieces of a cut up old car innertube stretched his skate blades to keep the puck from going through.  The booing did not last long, however, as the Haddon A.C. won that game 13 to nothing.  The team soon had brown shirts with an "H” on the back, pants and socks, so it was no longer necessary to have Liberty Magazines stuffed inside socks for shin guards.

Eddie Clement was the captain of that first team in 1930 that won the eight team league championship.  Ed Laird was the manager and he arranged for the transportation to the shore one night a week, occasionally though, there would be two games in one week.  The boys paid all expenses and there would always be a stop at Joe’s Diner in Egg Harbor on the trip back to Haddonfield.  The Haddon A.C. was defeated in the playoffs the second year and finished in second place.  Boys playing in later years were Charlie Porter, Charlie Eichman, Bill Oliver, George Crandell, Don Laird, Karl Tule, and George Bacon.

Doc Rooney treated all the sprains and bruises that were constantly needing attention.  The other teams began to import Canadian players and League regulations became very strict, especially as to equipment requirements, and on night the boys were not allowed on the ice because of improper stockings.  When new uniforms were needed the Haddon A.C. disbanded.

Well remembered were those cold winter night shore trips to those games in a drafty model “A” Ford roadster that only youth could survive, but it was so much fun.  The four years of its existence the team ws fully enjoyed by players and spectators.  Tom Holloway’s reminiscing furnished the material to make possible the bringing to the fore that once there was a Haddon A.C. in The Days of Yore.



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