Star player: Gordon (Gordie) Poirier 1914-1972

Gordon (Gordie) Poirier
From the private collection of Trevor Chepstow

Born in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan, Canada, Gordon Poirier was one of the greatest ice hockey players to wear the famous black and yellow colours of the Brighton Tigers in the pre and post war era. At the age of fifteen, he started with his first Junior Ice Hockey team, known as “Columbus”. A year later, he joined the “St Francois Xavier” Ice Hockey team and then the following year moved to one of the most famous teams in Canada, the “Montreal Canadians”, as a junior.

Italian Olympic team coach in 1936
On reaching senior status, Gordie got his first trip abroad and was appointed coach to the Italian Olympic team for the 1936 games at Garmisch. Shortly after returning to Canada, he was talent-spotted by Don Penniston and signed to play for the Brighton Tigers. He made his debut with the Tigers in 1936 alongside the legendary Bobby Lee, who was also signed by Don Penniston.

The crowds go wild
With his dark, dashing good looks and amazing hockey skills, Gordie was an immediate success and soon became the star of the Brighton Tigers. The crowds would scream the roof down as he scored one goal after another, leaving the opposing team players in total disarray. This was perhaps something to do with his ability to shoot a puck at a defending goal keeper at over 100mph.

An all round athlete
Originally playing centre ice, Gordie was best placed playing defence; with the intelligence normally reserved for chess players, his great ability was always to be able to find a position to best defend the goal. An all-round athlete, Gordie was good at baseball, lacrosse and was a top canoeist, but hockey was his best game.

Wartime service
During the Second World War, Gordie joined the Royal Canadian Artillery and rose to the rank of Captain. After the war, he returned to play for the Tigers to great success then went on to play for Harringay in 1950/51, finally returning to Canada to open a restaurant and run an import business.

A Brighton Tigers stalwart
Gordie Poirier will be remembered as one of the stalwarts of the Brighton Tigers in their heyday and is commemorated in the British Ice Hall of Fame. Gordie passed away following a heart attack in Montreal in 1972.

Comments about this page

  • As a little guy I used hang around the SS.Brighton where my Dad (Gordie Poirier) used to play hockey. To this day,I can still smell the linament. Trevor, I must take a moment to thank you for letting me in on some of your articles, programmes and pictures of the time. They bought back memories as a little tyke getting Coca Cola out of a big red fridge and chewing the Wrigley’s chewing gum in the post-game change room. I am sure you have made countless numbers of fans and relatives very happy with your ‘history of the SS Brighton’ Please give me good notice if you collection ever goes on exhibition. I’ll be there!

    By Michael Blade (11/08/2005)
  • Gordon was my step-father-in-law, and I adored him. My husband (Ian) and I are thrilled to see this article. Would be great to make contact with Michael if you could pass along our email address to him.

    By Sharon Murray (13/08/2005)
  • Gordon was my step-grandfather but he died when I was six so I never really got to know him. He lived in Montreal and I lived in Nova Scotia so I only saw him a couple of times. I have two sons and both of them are hockey fans so they will really enjoy reading about their great-step-grandfather. I took them to the Hockey Hall of Fame and to the Old Montreal Form where they saw Gordie’s name on the team plaque in the re-constructed locker room of the Montreal Canadians. Thanks for creating this history.

    By Kathy Romo (17/08/2005)
  • Gordie was my Mom’s (Clara Poirier) brother. He came to live with us for several years in St. Anne de Bellevue, Quebec after his return from England. We did have some knowledge of his hockey days in England but certainly not to the extent that you have presented to us. Thank you for all your efforts on the research of the Brighton Tigers and their players. After so many years, it has brought back many wonderful memories of a well-loved family member. What a guy!

    By Shirley (Stephens) Petrie (21/08/2005)
  • I lived in Sussex Square from 1947 until 1953 and one of my playmates who lived about three houses from ours was Gordie Poirier’s son. He told me his dad was an ice hockey player, but being about 11 years old myself at that particular time,I had never heard of him and was unaware of how well known he was. It was several years later before I heard of his credited fame.

    By Vic Bath (08/01/2007)

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.