SCOTT, Anthony Lawrence (Tony) crossed the rugby pitch to the other side while surrounded by family on November 19, 2020. Predeceased by parents Clement and Doris Scott . Tony leaves to mourn his wife of 42 years, Wendy, and son Ryan. He is also lovingly remembered by sister Susan, brothers David (June) and Peter, brothers-in-law Doug (Helen), Bob (Farah) and many cousins plus others including best friends Chris Hanna, Ken Robinson and Alan Snowden.
Born August 2, 1949 in London, England, Tony moved with his parents and two younger siblings to Canada in 1955 and after first living in Coquitlam, BC they moved to Granby, QC before returning to BC and settling in the Delbrook area of North Vancouver in 1963, where Tony attended Balmoral Junior secondary before graduating from Handsworth High School in 1968. Before the Scott family moved back to BC permanently, Tony flew out ahead to support his grandmother at her secondhand store called The Quality Shop in Edgemont Village. Throughout and even beyond high school, it played a large role in Tony’s life and it was there that he met several people that influenced him to pursue various careers, including auctioneering — which he did professionally in the antiques business for a number of years — as well as a wholesaler of brass hardware sales. He went on to graduate with a business administration degree from Simon Fraser University and became a stockbroker and financial planner for 35 years.
Tony and Wendy (nee Littlewood) were married in 1978 in West Vancouver, with Ryan arriving on the scene in 1992. As the oldest and strongest child, Tony assumed a leadership role early in life and was dedicated to caring for his younger siblings and providing them with a strong shoulder, protection and plenty of tough love. Family gatherings were an important fixture for the Scott kids in those early years and they also became a regular feature of Tony and Wendy’s household in later years as well, especially Sunday dinners, birthdays and raucous Boxing Day celebrations that became an annual event with friends, family and loved ones.
A tough and big-hearted man, one of Tony’s true passions was rugby, where he made many close and lifelong friends. In 1965, the brawny 16 year old first stepped onto the field with the West Vancouver Barbarians’ junior team. Following the game, Tony’s reserved and proud father came into the locker room, opened a beer, gave it to Tony and left without saying a word — and Tony was hooked from that day forward. He went on to play for his high school squad and the University of British Columbia before joining the North Shore’s Capilano Rugby Football Club (CRFC) in 1971, where his contributions as a player, administrator, volunteer, coach and supporter became the stuff of legends.
In his first decade with the club he became one of the most prominent players in the province, earning a reputation for his hard and uncompromising style of play, which was both feared and respected by his peers. During this time he won the best Capilano Forward award three times, the Capilano Spirit award, the Howie McPhee Trophy as Vancouver player of the year and was a member of numerous Vancouver and BC rep teams, culminating in his being capped for the Canadian National Team in 1976. Throughout the ‘80s Tony continued to play lower-division senior rugby before joining the CRFC’s Over-40s ‘Snowcaps’ team, where he remained a fixture for another two decades.
As his good friend Ken Robinson, who played alongside Tony for more than two decades, says: “Slacking, walking or not leaving it all on the field were taboo with Tony, and it rubbed off on the entire club.” Together, Tony and Ken toured Ireland, Chile and Argentina with a number of CRFC teams, and Tony was invited by many clubs from the US, Spain and others to tour with them as well.
Off the rugby pitch, Tony contributed to the development of the club in myriad ways and is one of the few recipients of an Honorary Life Membership. Beyond his role as a player-coach and captain, he also helped create and coach the mini/youth rugby arm of the club for nine years, served on the club executive as vice-president and two terms as president and was a volunteer for numerous club fundraising projects, and his experience in auctioneering became an integral part of many a CRFC, BC and Rugby Canada fundraiser throughout the years.
Tony also coached at the high school level and spearheaded the creation of the rugby program at North Vancouver’s Windsor Secondary and was bestowed with a BC Coaching Award in 2000. Tony was also happy to usher his younger brother Peter into the rugby ranks and was most proud of his son Ryan for following in his footsteps and carrying on the family tradition, with Ryan first taking the pitch at the age of five as part of the CRFC mini rugby program and rising through the ranks to help the club’s first division team win a BC title during an undefeated season in 2016. Ryan, who is a flanker just like Tony during his playing days, also played under his dad while Tony was a coach and Ryan a student at Windsor secondary.
Tony was also a longstanding member of the Surrey Rotary Club and the Royal City Rotary Club in New Westminster, where he received a Paul Harris Fellowship award in 1992 for outstanding service and was named the Rotarian of the Year 2018/19 by the Royal City club.
The family would like to extend their heartfelt appreciation to the following people and organizations for taking extraordinary care of Tony: emergency staff and physcians Dr. Steve Broughton (Copeman Helathcare Centre), Dr. T. Walton, Dr. K Shoults, Dr. Walker, the Lions Gate Hospital staff and management on 7 East, Palliative Care, and North Shore Hospice. We would also like to thank our neighbours, friends, and the Capilano Rugby Football Club family for their tremendous support during this difficult time. Donations in Tony’s honour can be made as follows: https://westvanfoundation.ca/capilano-rugbyfootball-club-fund.
A celebration of Tony’s life will be held when COVID restrictions ease. As Tony was fond of saying on the sidelines while watching his son play: “Pass the ball, Ryan!”