Canadian Soccer will have a much bigger presence in the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame following the announcement of the class of inductees for 2015. This year, the Hall will welcome all 6 ft 5 in of Craig Forrest as he is one of 12 new members.
Forrest, who has spent much of his retirement on Sportsnet's soccer broadcasts, is one of the top talents that Canadian soccer has produced. His career was highlighted by 56 caps for the national team including a herculean effort to help Canada win the Gold Cup in 2000. For his performance in that event Forrest was named the Top Goalkeeper as well as the tournament MVP. He gave up just 3 goals in 5 games in that event and stopped two penalties along the way. Without his incredible performances in 2000 Canada would not have won their only major international trophy. It wasn't just down to the luck of a coin flip.
For his strong career with Canada, Forrest was voted as the top keeper by fans during the events surrounding the Canadian Soccer Associations centennial. He was named to the all-time best XI in 2012 and it was very much a deserved honour just like his place in the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.
Along with a strong international career Forrest managed to make quite a name for himself playing in England. He spent the bulk of his club career with Ipswich Town where he got the chance to play in England's top division getting the chance to be one of a select few internationals to play during the first weekend of the Premier League's existence.
Forrest also spent time playing for Colchester and Chelsea before he finished off his playing career with West Ham United. He would eventually retire in 2002 after beating testicular cancer having made over 300 club appearances in his playing career.
His contributions to Canadian soccer have not stopped since his retirement though as he was a big part of soccer coverage in a time period when it was not on every single sports channel. He has been a fixture of Sportsnet's soccer coverage for years now including being a key figure in many Toronto FC and Canadian broadcasts as well as a regular during their Premier League and Champions League coverage.
Being inducted in to the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame is certainly a deserved honour for Forrest and it is good to see another member of the soccer community receiving the honour. He joins Charmaine Hooper, Andrea Neil, Dave Turner, and Bruce Wilson in representing soccer in the hall.