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HomeMiscellanySome clubs have all the luck: Remember when Rod Stewart was a Whitecap

Some clubs have all the luck: Remember when Rod Stewart was a Whitecap


Bob Mackin

Rod the Mod is back, for one night only, tonight at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. 

Did you know that Rod Stewart was briefly signed to a contract with the Vancouver Whitecaps of the North American Soccer League? 

Rod Stewart’s July 10, 1984 contract with the NASL Whitecaps.

During what would be the final NASL season at B.C. Place Stadium in 1984, the club was searching for ways to put bums in seats again. The honeymoon from the previous season’s move from Empire Stadium to Canada’s first inflated-dome stadium had worn off. There were other challenges that season. A double-whammy of labour unrest affected transportation and communication in the city that would host a world’s fair on those themes in just two years. 

Reporters and photographers from Pacific Press, the publisher of the Vancouver Sun and Province newspapers, walked the picket line for much of spring. Then Metro Transit bus drivers walked the picket lines for much of the summer. 

Rod Stewart with Celtic Supporters in Vancouver in April 2011 (Facebook)

Someone in the Whitecaps’ front office had the clever idea to capitalize on the Vancouver stop of Stewart’s Camouflage tour at the Pacific Coliseum on July 10, 1984 (featuring Jeff Beck on guitar). They knew Stewart was the world’s most-famous fan of Glasgow, Scotland’s beloved Celtic FC and he likes to kick soccer balls into the crowd at his concerts.

So they offered him a contract with the Whitecaps. For a sum, the contract says, that was “to be negotiated.”

Stewart inked the deal, “c/o Pacific Coliseum,” with Whitecaps’ coach Alan Hinton. 

On April 22, 2011, Stewart was on another tour through Vancouver. He stuck around Vancouver to join the Vancouver Shamrock Celtic Supporters Club on April 24, 2011 at Library Square Public House to watch the Hoops play to a scoreless tie against Rangers.

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