Over the years the canes have had numerous players who have retired but contributed so much to the game that we feel they should be honoured.
“In any team, you need a leader. Some people can command respect from their team mates. On and off the field, Lars Halford was one of them.” – Charlie Campbell.
From early on, it was clear that Lars Halford was going to be a key player for the Dundee Hurricanes. His versatility added a huge dimension to his and the Canes game. Lining up on either side of the ball, often in the same game(!), the opposition had to account for Lars regardless of where he played. Solid and always very dependable, Lars truly blossomed as a Linebacker.
In his final year, he showed this when he had a one man show against the Edinburgh Wolves. In the game, Halford racked up and incredible 15 solo tackles, 6 shared tackles, 2 sacks and an interception. It was a performance that demonstrated how determined Lars played the game.
It wasn’t only the football side of things that team mates and opponents alike admired and respected Lars. His medical knowledge and skills were often called in to action, and Lars was always willing to help anyone who needed it. Having spent a year on the medical side of the NFL Europe Scottish Claymores his ability to help was widely recognised. This was never more so demonstrated than when he rushed to the aid of a fallen Trojan player in a game and saved him from long term or potentially permanent injury.
The Britbowl veteran retired after the 2011 season, leaving an incredible legacy behind him.
As one of the founding members of the Dundee Storm, Stewart’s history in Dundee American Football is up there with the very best of them. As the years progressed, Stewart became a founding member of the Dundee Hurricanes when they were formed for the ageing youngsters to give them somewhere to play senior football.
The versatility of his talents was shown when you look at the positions Stewart played. Linebacker, Running Back, Tight End, Defensive End, Offensive Lineman, wherever called upon to play he took this up with serious passion and enthusiasm. This past season, lightening struck as he had a stellar season playing in a Tight End role and led the Hurricanes in receiving Touchdowns. He was recognised in the club’s annual awards with a “Special Recognition Award” for his achievements at the club.
With a new addition to his family on the horizon, Stewart very quietly announced his retirement from playing at the end of the 2012 campaign. However, he did not depart the club. Instead, he was appointed the new Head Coach of the Dundee Hurricanes. With a new vision for the club, the future will continue to be bright under the guidance of Stewart Adam.
“There are some people that without them, the Dundee Hurricanes simply wouldn’t exist” stated Canes GM Charlie Campbell. “Bruce Foster is one of them.”
Bruce’s history with Dundee American Football dates back 25 years to 1987 when a member of the Dundee Whalers. After suffering a significant injury playing, fracturing vertebrae, he moved into coaching and quickly moved up to Head Coach. It was in 1993 that the foundation steps where laid for the Hurricanes, as Foster left the Whalers to start up and be the Head Coach of the Dundee Storm youth team. The youth team would become the Dundee Hurricanes as the Storm players needed somewhere to play senior football.
For the next 5 years, Foster was the Head Coach of the Dundee Hurricanes, becoming the Defensive Coordinator in 2005 until 2008 when he and his family departed the UK for the sunny climate of Australia. Unquestionably the highlight of his tenure with the Canes was leading the team to Britbowl. Under his guidance, a number of players represented their country.
Without Bruce Foster’s commitment, loyalty and passion, the Dundee Hurricanes and American Football in Dundee would not exist in the form that it does today. The thanks of every Dundee Hurricane, past, present and future are very much deserved for Bruce Foster.
MAHAMADOU DOOMA NIAKATE
“I remember the first day Dooma turned up at Dawson Park” recanted GM Charlie Campbell. “Little did we know what was going to happen!”
Occasionally turning his hand to playing Quarterback, Niakaté spent the majority of his time as a Running Back. Year after year, Dooma took to the field for the Dundee Hurricanes and tore opposition defences to pieces. His talents were recognised at the highest level in the UK, being selected as part of the Great Britain national side on a number of occasions. In an international game against France, Niakaté picked up the MVP award.
In the last few seasons of his playing days, Dooma took on the role of Offensive Coordinator. Passing on his knowledge to the next generation of Hurricanes was always at the forefront of Niakaté’s mind. When his playing days came to an end, the Hurricanes retired his #2 jersey as a mark of respect.
American Football is a tough, physical game and fewer played it any harder than Ali Millar. For a long time, Millar went toe to toe with the British game’s best Defensive Linemen. A veteran who played all over the Offensive Line, his primary position was Right Guard. Millar was a key part of the Hurricanes 2007 side which went all the way to the Britbowl final.
A man of few words, did his talking on the field but you certainly listened when he spoke. Ali Millar struck fear into the hearts of even his fellow Canes in tackle practice, so when it came to game day his opponents would know they had been in a war.
If the history of American Football in Dundee were to be written, the name Ross MacPherson would be seen throughout it. Long before there was a Dundee Hurricanes to speak of, the Dundee Whalers represented the city. A young Ross MacPherson embarked on a path that would last much longer than anyone could have anticipated. From Dundee Whalers on to the Dundee Hurricanes, Ross played in a variety of positions over his storied career.
He would go on to become Coach MacPherson as he took over the reigns of the Dundee Hurricanes. The Hurricanes would narrowly miss out on the playoffs in 2011 under MacPherson’s guidance. The following season, a freak injury would seemingly end the playing career but he would continue as Head Coach for the remainder of the year before leaving to spend time with his family.
At the end of the 2013 season, Ross returned to the Dundee Hurricanes as Defensive Coordinator. It was a much welcomed return to the team and his wealth of knowledge will help the Hurricanes both on and off the field. The young, up and coming rookies (and veterans alike) will be able to learn from the experience of a man with over 25 years in the game.