Celebrated B.C. sports writer Jim Taylor dies

Longtime columnist and author was 82

Legendary B.C. sports writer Jim Taylor died on Monday at the age of 82. (Facebook photo)

Legendary B.C. sports writer Jim Taylor died on Monday at the age of 82.

A celebrated sports columnist throughout the province and across Canada for more than 60 years, Taylor got his start with the Victoria Times Colonist while still in high school in the mid 1950s and went on to do his best-known work with the Vancouver Sun and Province.

Taylor also wrote 16 books, with topics including Wayne Gretzky, CFL players Matt Dunigan and Jim Young, national soccer player and coach Bob Lenarduzzi, racing driver Greg Moore, and Man in Motion Rick Hansen.

Taylor was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1989, the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame in 2005, and the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame in 2006. He received the Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jack Webster Foundation in 2010.

After his retirement, he moved to Shawnigan Lake in the Cowichan Valley.

Don Bodger of the Chemainus Valley Courier called Taylor “one of my heroes getting into the field, for sure.” He had Taylor as a speaker at his 2017 youth athletic banquet, and his impact on the audience was obvious.

“The kids in attendance and families there will certainly take away a memory from that, I’m sure,” Bodger said. “He loved to talk and, like his writing, it was very sharp and his wit, well, was always just unbelievable. He could turn a phrase like no one else. A great man, an icon of the industry and glad we had him around the Cowichan Valley for a while.”

Fellow reporters from across B.C. paid tribute to Taylor, many indicating that he inspired and influenced their career choices.

Roger Knox, Vernon Morning Star:

“I read and re-read Taylor’s book, Forgive Me My Press Passes for inspiration. His ode to his dearly departed manual typewriter is a classic; his shots at the Americas Cup and baseball are legendary; he was poignant, hilarious, thought-provoking, truly one of the best sports writers Canada has ever produced. He was also a great, fun interview. He will be sorely missed.”

Philip Wolf, Vancouver Island Free Daily:

“Jim was the finest sports columnist I’ve ever read. His acerbic wit and unique turns of phrase definitely influenced my decision to pursue sports writing. Back in the pre-internet days, the rush of eagerly flipping through the pages to find his column is something I’ll never forget. His willingness to help anyone who sought out his advice was also legendary. We’ve lost a great one.”

Eric Welsh, Chilliwack Progress:

“Grew up reading Jim’s columns in the province and I’m reading a book of his collected works right now. More than any writer, he was able to capture the voice of the ‘common fan.’ He wrote with a blend of humour and heart and produced work that made the reader think even as it entertained. Never read a boring Taylor column.”

Terry Farrell, Comox Valley Record:

“Jim Taylor mentored me during my time in Campbell River. This is a sad day for me.”

Susie Quinn, Alberni Valley News:

“Jim Taylor was my inspiration when I first got into journalism as a sports writer. I read his columns faithfully when I was a kid. I remember scoring an interview with him when I was a J-student at Langara College and was mortified when the ancient recording equipment we had malfunctioned, and I had to re-ask him some questions because I hadn’t taken many notes. He was patient, even though I’m sure he had answered the same questions numerous times.”

Karl Yu, Nanaimo News Bulletin

“A lifetime ago, when I was writing for a now-defunct sports magazine, I interviewed Jim a number of times about various topics. Always made time for me, always very polite. I particularly enjoyed a story he told me where he said he told Doug Flutie that the Grey Cup had been around longer than the Super Bowl.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fraser Valley couple wins $500K after finding scratch-and-win while moving

  • Robert Walters and Lois Gueret of Agassiz win half a million from Scratch & Win ticket

High-risk sex offender living in Chilliwack back in court

Former mayor and residents wanted James Conway gone from residential neighbourhood two years ago

Court orders Hope-area First Nation council to accept long-contested memberships

Federal judge rules Peters Band Council acted “irrationally, unreasonably” in rejecting applications

KAAC won’t back Kent’s Teacup properties plans

Public consultation meeting is on March 10 at District Hall

Students in the Fraser East work hard, need more mental health support

McCreary Centre releases stats from 2018 that show trends among students

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Toffoli scores OT winner as Canucks beat Habs 4-3

Demko makes 37 saves for Vancouver

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

Child in hospital following fatal crash that killed father, sibling on B.C. highway

The single vehicle crash occured near Kamloops on Highway 5A

‘Die!’: Vernon councillor mailed death threat

This story contains information that might be sensitive to some readers

B.C. landlord can’t serve eviction notice because tenant is in jail

Homeowner baffled at arbitrator decision based on notice of hearing not being served properly

Hidden message connects Castlegar homeowners decades apart

The Rodgers family was surprised when a message fell out of the walls as they were renovating

Most Read