ROBERT (BOB) SLANEY
Bob was born at St. Lawrence in 1943. He, like many Laurentians, grew up kicking a soccer ball in any meadow or flat piece of land that was available. Bob started his career as a left halfback in high school. In 1960 he played in goal for the Junior Laurentians and played a mayor role in the winning of the first Newfoundland Soccer Associationís provincial junior championship.
When Mike Quirke called it quits in goal in 1963 Bob seized the opportunity to play for the Senior Laurentians. By this time his reflexes were as quick as a cat and he was fearless, often diving at the boot of unsuspecting forwards to take a shot away from them. Bob missed the 1965 All-Newfoundland Championship at Ayre Athletic Grounds because of a broken collar bone. Losing that Senior final was hard to take for Bob so he returned in 1966 and was successful in helping the Laurentians to a Provincial title over Holy Cross.
Bobís best year was 1967 when the Laurentians defeated the London Lions and thus represented Newfoundland in the provinceís first ever Canadian Challenge Cup competition. The first game was against the Sydney Ramblers for the Atlantic title. Bob and his Laurentians toyed with the Nova Scotians and defeated them 9 - 1. From there the Laurentians went on to Toronto to play for the Eastern Canadian title. Bob played brilliantly as his team lost by a very narrow score of 3 - 2 to Toronto Balymena.
After missing the 1968 season because of summer school in Moncton, where he trained as a Vocational School welding instructor, Bob was back between the pipes until he retired in 1974. Upon his retirement, Bob had played on seven Newfoundland and Atlantic championship teams and eight Burin Peninsula championship teams. He also received awards such as top goalie and most valuable player.
While many players shy away from the game after retirement, Bob got very heavily involved. He was manager of the Laurentians for a couple of years, coached them one year, and served as President of the St. Lawrence Soccer Association for 10 years. He succeeded Fred Tessier as President of the Burin Peninsula Soccer Association and served the next five years in that capacity until he moved to St. Johnís for work. Upon his return he served several more years as President. He also held the position of Southern Vice-President for the Newfoundland Soccer Association for a number of years and has even held the position of Registrar for the provincial body.
Bob enjoyed his playing days with the likes of Frank Tobin, Cyril Quirke, Reg Farrell, Norm Kelly and Wils Molloy. He cherished his association with such fine gentlemen at the executive level such as Fred Tessier, Gus Etchegary, Ben Lake, Joe Keating, John McGrath and George Innis.
Bob was elected to the St. Lawrence Soccer Hall of Fame in 1983, the Burin Peninsula Soccer Hall of Fame in 1991 and the Newfoundland Soccer Hall of Fame in 1997.