Eugene (Gene) Banfield


Gene, like many other great soccer players started his career on “The Hog”. Even though he was up against older players like Max Kettle, and Junior Doyle, because he was a big boy he certainly held his own against them.Gene, like many other great soccer players started his career on “The Hog”. Even though he was up against older players like Max Kettle, and Junior Doyle, because he was a big boy he certainly held his own against them.Gene, like many other great soccer players started his career on “The Hog”. Even though he was up against older players like Max Kettle, and Junior Doyle, because he was a big boy he certainly held his own against them.


His first coach was Newfoundland’s Soccer Hall of Famer, Herb Slaney. In a number of exhibition games against Lawn, he proved even at such a young age that he had a powerful boot as the young Lawn goaltender could attest to.


From the Hog Gene went on to play minor soccer under the guidance of another Newfoundland Hall of Famer, Len Slaney. Gene’s PeeWees won two All-Nfld titles and he was also on two All-Nfld Bantam teams. He won a fifth Provincial title with the Burin Peninsula PeeWee All-Star team. In 1967 as a member of that team, Gene went to Quebec to take part in an Invitation Centennial Tournament in Montreal. His team, coached by Len Slaney won three games and lost one by a score of 2-1.


Gene was glad to be finished with Minor Soccer and move on to Senior because at least, now no one would be asking him for his birth certificate anymore. Gene was a big, big boy with hair loss even at the age of 12.


During his Senior soccer career, Gene played on a number of Provincial Championship teams in the 1970’s. He was also a member of a number of Atlantic Championship teams and also a member of the 1976 Eastern Canadian team. Gene’s booming shot was feared all over Canada.


One of his proudest memories in his career was being named a member of the “Team of the Decade” during the 1970’s. To be in the company of Al Slaney, Joe Turpin, Junior Edwards, Wils Molloy and Frank Haskell to name a few is something he will cherish for the rest of his life.


Although Gene was a big fellow, he played the game with fairness. He won a number of “Most Gentlemanly and Effective Player” awards along with “ Most Valuable Player” and “Most Dedicated Player” awards.


Gene joins his Uncle Charlie Banfield and his great Uncle Jack Fitzpatrick into the St. Lawrence Soccer Hall of Fame.