Henderson comes home Saturday

Section: 
Sports

By Josh Howald

He scored the most iconic goal in Canadian history, and Kincardine is happy to welcome him home for Canada Day.

Paul Henderson was born Jan. 28, 1943 in a horse-drawn sleigh on the Kincardine Hospital hill. This Saturday morning, he will be honoured with a special plaque dedication from the Kincardine Canada Day Committee. The plaque, noting his birthplace, will be placed at the bottom of the hill on Queen St. and will be unveiled at 9:30 a.m. Henderson and his family will be paraded to the site in a carriage pulled by Mike Geddes' Clydsdale horses, more or less retracing the route travelled the day of his birth.

Following the unveiling, Henderson will participate in the Canada Day parade, which leaves from Quinn Plaza and ends at the flag pole at the bottom of Harbour Street. Henderson will then be the special guest speaker and take part in the ceremonies and assist with the raising of the flag.

The legend had no shortage of invitations for places to be on Canada Day. He turned down numerous other invitations, including one from the federal government, to be in Kincardine this weekend. The plans were more than a year in the making, said Brad Kirkconnell of the Canada Day committee.

Henderson lived in Kincardine for the first six years of his life before moving to Lucknow. He calls Lucknow his hometown, and it is where he was raised. He played his minor sports in Lucknow and Goderich.

He played his junior hockey in Hamilton before he joined the Detroit Red Wings in 1962. He racked up 477 points in 10 NHL seasons with the Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs and another 280 in the World Hockey Association for Toronto and Birmingham.

But he is easily best known for his game-winning goal in Game 8 of the 1972 Summit Series between Canada and the Soviet Union - clearly the two world hockey powers at the time. He also had the game winning goals in Games 6 and 7 of the series, which were all played in the Soviet Union. He finished the series with seven points, second in Canada team scoring.

He was last in Kincardine in February, 2011 to kick off a Canada-wide tour of the jersey he was wearing in 1972. It had been purchased for more than a million dollars by Smart Centre owner Mitchell Goldhar, who decided to put it on tour for all Canadians to see. The first three stops on the tour were Lucknow, Kincardine and Goderich.

In 2011, he told The Independent one of his first memories was getting into trouble with his neighbour and still friend Clarke Pollock when he was about three-years old.