HAGERSVILLE — A tragic car accident has taken the life of a great football leader, whose presence in the sport over the decades was felt not only in Hamilton and more widely in Ontario, but also on a national scale.
Don Edwards, 59, was killed Wednesday in a three-car collision on Highway 6 south of Hagersville that also resulted in the death of his son, Spencer, 18.
“Don and Spencer were tragically killed in a car accident. Both Don & Spencer were generous, kind-hearted, “old” souls who were always there to help others whenever they were needed,” says a write up for the family on a GoFundMe account set up for the family.
Edwards, a passenger in one of the cars, was president of the Ontario Football Alliance, which oversees amateur football in the province and represents minor football in dealings with the Ontario government.
Once on the executive of the Hamilton Hurricanes, who won the provincial junior championship on Sunday, Edwards supported football in several different capacities and his death represents a terrible loss to the community.
“Don was involved in all levels of football,” said Mike Samuel, president of the Hurricanes. “The Canadian Junior Football League, high school football, colour commentary for McMaster games and a lot more. For 30 or 40 years, he gave his time and effort to football. You don’t very often find those people who give so much to a sport that they love, but Don was one of those people.
“A couple of years ago, they didn’t have enough players for high school football teams at Cayuga or Hagersville, and Don was part of the group that put together and coached the amalgamated team so the kids had a chance to play.”
The Hurricanes are part of the Ontario Football Alliance through their league, the Ontario Football Conference.
“It’s tragic,” said Norm Miller, who was media relations director for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the 1990s. “He was a friend.”
Edwards was in sales for the Tiger-Cats from 1994 to 1997 and was a major part of the Drive for ’95, which kept the team in the city by successfully meeting a CFL-mandated number of season-ticket sales and sponsorship by Christmas of 1994. The CFL had threatened to revoke the franchise.
He was also an executive with the Ontario Raiders, a pro lacrosse team which called Hamilton home in 1998 before moving to Toronto and becoming the Rock. He was also in the front office of the old Dukes of Hamilton, the OHL team here in the early 1990s.
Edwards helped coach a number of teams around the area.
“Donnie was somebody who was totally dedicated to the game of football,” said Miller. “I know how proud he was of Spencer, and of the fact that Spencer played football in high school. Donnie had a self-deprecating sense of humour and a huge heart.”
Edwards was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident and his son was taken to hospital where he later died of injuries. Their southbound vehicle collided with another vehicle that was northbound. A third vehicle became involved when it swerved to avoid the collision and ended up in a ditch.
A woman, 27, driving the northbound car, and a one-year-old boy were both transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The man driving the third vehicle that went into the ditch was unhurt.
Original Article by: The Hamilton Spectator
Publication: The Hamilton Spectator
Date: Nov 01, 2018
Link to Article: https://www.thespec.com/news-story/9000009-football-s-don-edwards-and-son-killed-in-three-vehicle-hagersville-crash/