Former Canadian soccer president Jim Fleming has died at the age of 87

Former Canadian soccer president Jim Fleming has died at the age of 87

Jim Fleming, who hired coaches Tony Waiters, Holger Osik and even Pelrod during his two terms as president of Soccer Canada, has died at the age of 87.

Canadian Soccer said Fleming died Thursday in Edmonton.

Fleming, a member of the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame, served as president from 1982 to 1986 and again from 1998 to 2002.

During his first term as president, he oversaw the hiring of Waiters as the national men’s coach in 1982. The Canadians qualified for the 1984 Olympics and won the CONCACAF Championship in 1985 to qualify for the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico.

“I’m delighted for the players and coach Tony Wieters to get to (the FIFA World Cup in Mexico). They all overcame the trials and tribulations of the qualifying rounds in great fashion,” Fleming said in 1985. “In short, I’m a very proud Canadian.”

Fleming was also responsible for the merger of the Canadian Youth Soccer Association into Canadian Soccer in 1982 and the inauguration of Canadian Soccer’s first women’s national championship that same year.

During his second term as president of Soccer Canada, Fleming oversaw the hiring of Osijek in 1998, who led the Canadian men to the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup title and Canada to the FIFA Confederations Cup Korea/Japan. Qualified for 2001.

A year later, even Pelrod was hired as Canada’s women’s coach. Pelrod handed 16-year-old Christine Sinclair her debut and led Canada to a fourth-place finish at the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Fleming also served on the CONCACAF Executive Committee from 1986 to 1998, including eight years as senior vice president from 1990 to 1998.

He was honored as a Life Member of Alberta Soccer in 1987 and was the recipient of Soccer Canada’s Aubrey Sanford Distinguished Service Award in 1997. Before serving as president of Soccer Canada, he was president of Alberta Soccer from 1975 to 1980.

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland on February 28, 1935, Fleming moved to Canada with his wife Kathleen in 1968 and worked for the Alberta government for more than 30 years.

Fleming is survived by his children Sean, Anne, Paul and Angela. Kathleen, his wife of 60 years, died in 2016.

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