Thursday, October 8, 2009

Lou Moro, trainer (1918-2009)

By Tom Hawthorn

Special to The Globe and Mail

October 8, 2009

Lou Moro, a sausage maker, moonlighted for 50 years as a sports trainer, often unpaid, earning honours in several halls of fame.

The success of Uncle Louie, as he was known, was all the more remarkable for his never having had any formal medical training.

Mr. Moro became an athletic trainer while serving in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War, a time in which he also saw duty as a cook aboard a minesweeper.

He played box lacrosse for a wartime Navy team in Victoria, but found he was more valuable in helping teammates recover from sprains and muscle pulls. He had become interested in the art, if not the science, of training from watching hockey players being treated in his boyhood hometown of Trail, B.C.

Born in Northern Italy, he immigrated with his family to British Columbia at age 11.

Mr. Moro worked as a butcher after the war, but sports remained his passion. He treated lacrosse and soccer players at all levels of competition.

Some of the highlights of his career included accompanying all-star and Canadian national soccer teams on tours of England, Germany and the Soviet Union.

At home, he was best known as trainer for the Vancouver 86ers and Whitecaps soccer teams.

During a losing streak, he once quipped: “We’ve got lots of physiotherapists with the club, but maybe what we really need is a psychiatrist.”

Mr. Moro was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1975; the Burnaby (B.C.) Sports Hall of Fame in 2002; and the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame in 1995. He was one of the 11 inaugural builders to be named to the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame in 2000.

Luigi Paolo Moro was born on April 26, 1918, at Savona, Italy. He died at Burnaby General Hospital in the Vancouver suburb of Burnaby on Sept. 30. He was 91. He leaves two sons, two daughters, seven grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by the former Virginia Maiani, his wife of 62 years, who died in 2005, aged 82.

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