It is with great sadness that the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles acknowledge the passing of William A. Sidney at the age of 86.
Sidney was the Screaming Eagles first president and served as the club’s director of sales for 19 seasons.
Making a difference in the world of junior hockey was nothing new for Bill Sidney. Long time hockey fans in Cape Breton remember the story of the 1955-56 Glace Bay “Cinderella” Miners of the Cape Breton Junior Hockey League. The Miners won just two games during the regular season, and almost went out of business before Bill and various other local business men stepped in to save the franchise. The Miners would turn things around in the playoffs, capturing the Cape Breton and Maritime titles before falling one game short of beating St. Jean in the Eastern Canadian Championships.
William Sidney was also involved in bringing high profile Jr. A hockey to the island in 1969. The Cape Breton Metros played in the Maritime Junior A hockey league for two seasons, and Sidney spared no expense in helping his new club. He secured a DC-3 aircraft to fly the team to its road games around the Maritimes, and hired former NHLers Forbes Kennedy and Bronco Horvath to coach the squad.
In addition to opening a successful business (Modern Aluminum Products), Sidney contributed to the game of hockey at various levels, including scouting for the Detroit Red Wings. He founded the prestigious Cape Breton Metros high school hockey tournament and served as the chair of the hockey program for the 1987 Canada Winter Games in Sydney. Bill was named to the Cape Breton Sport Hall of Fame in 2005.
The Cape Breton Screaming Eagles would like to extend condolences to the Sidney family.