It is amazing how a writer can become such a part of the sporting community by having
a passion for telling the exploits of athletes no matter the level, from high school, university and college to the professional ranks. Writers like Burlington’s own Don Lovegrove.
Don retired from the Hamilton Spectator in 1991 and passed away in June of 2018. His legacy and impact is still felt throughout the local community. His colleague, award winning journalist, Steve Milton said of Lovegrove, “Don was one of those giants upon whose shoulders the current generation of local sports media still stand.”
“Lovey” as he was called at the Hamilton Spectator throughout his 37-year career, covered major sporting events like the World Cup of Soccer, where he witnessed the “Hand of God” goal scored by Argentinian Diego Maradona in Mexico (1986). He covered the winter and summer Olympics in Montreal (1976) and Calgary (1988).
It was, however his love for amateur sport that defined him. He gave blanketed coverage to high school sports, McMaster University and Mohawk College men’s and women’s varsity teams. He was dubbed “The Dean of Amateur Sport.” It was Don’s passionate coverage of local sports, with the same dedication and appetite to capture the story, which endeared him to athletes and sport fans in the Burlington-Hamilton area.
How endearing was this man and his writing to the local community?
McMaster University bestowed upon him an honourary athletic letter and named him a Mac “Friend of Distinction.” In 1987 he was the recipient of the national media award by the CIAU (now USports). Don was also inducted into the Hamilton Soccer Sports Hall of Fame – the only reporter; Mohawk College Athletics Hall of Fame and Hamilton Hurricanes Hall of Fame.
A fellow Spectator sports writer, Garry McKay said of Don, “The thing I remember most about him is that he was an expert in all sports, and he handled the sports that most of us would prefer not to do. He was into soccer before soccer was hot.” Really into soccer!
Don’s weekly soccer column fed the fervent fans in the area with the information to stay in touch with the game on a local, national, and international level. It’s not hyperbole to suggest that the success of soccer at the professional level can be linked to his caring about the game.
In his retirement farewell address to Spectator readers, “Lovey” stated he didn’t like the direction the pro sports world was heading. Don declared, “One can find solace and hope on the playing fields of our schools and universities where sport is still practiced for the sake of sport; where the motto of ‘sound mind, sound body’ is more than just a catchy phrase.
The Burlington Sports Hall of Fame is honoured to welcome Don Lovegrove into the Builder’s category.