Category: Irish Ice Hockey Managers & Officials

Terry Kelly “Superfan” Irish Major League Ice Hockey Director 1991-2015

Terry Kelly “Superfan” [Ref: 5]


Terry Kelly was born in Toronto to Irish Immigrant parents, but was sent back to Belfast at the age of 3 to be brought up by his grandparents. After attending St. Malachy’s in Belfast, he returned to his parents in St. John, New Brunswick. He went on a hitch-hiking trip to Canada in 1949, where, on a lark, in Montreal he took in a professional Ice Hockey, Canadian Football, and Baseball games within 24 hours. He continued on to study at the University of New Brunswick in Canada, where he graduated with a law degree at 21, was called to the Ontario bar at 22, and became Queen’s Counsel at 33.

As well as a successful law practice, which included drug prosecutions, he continued as a sports fan, attending 11 consecutive Soccer World Cups (1996 to 2006) and many Ice Hockey, Baseball and Canadian Football matches, in Canada, as well as Scotland, Mexico City. He also played for the Soccer team at the University of New Brunswick.

One of his greatest achievements was to replace the Hambly Arena in Oshawa, Ontario, which had burnt down in 1953. He raised $1.3 Million in 1964 to replace it. The Civic Arena in Oshawa was named “Terry Kelly” Stadium in his honour. He was President of the Oshawa Soccer Association from 1963 to 1967 and was also a founding director of the Oshawa Green Gaels Lacrosse Club and a founder of the Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame into which he inducted in 1995.

Terry Kelly was named director of the Toronto Maple Leafs National Hockey League team (one of the biggest sporting organisations in the World) in 1991. He died, aged 83 from heart failure in 2015.



[1] Anon. (1991) “Terry’s latest sports ‘bonus'” Belfast Telegraph. Tuesday, December 10, 1991. pg. 40.


[2] , Hawthorn, Tom. The Globe and Mail (2015) Lawyer and ‘superfan’ Terry Kelly was the World’s no.1 sports ‘nut’ [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 3 July 2020]

[3] Ontario Soccer (2015) Former OSA President Passes Away [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 3 July 2020]

[4] Oshawa (2015) Oshawa Civic Stadium Renamed Terry Kelly Field [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 3 July 2020]


[5] Ontario Soccer (2015) Former OSA President Passes Away [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 3 July 2020]


Thanks to Lenka Mulligan.

About this document

Researched, compiled and written by Enda Mulcahy for the

Eirball | Irish, North American & World Sports Archive

Last Updated: 3 July 2020

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