The game of squash demands a high level of fitness - particularly endurance. Add patience, skill, and an underlying toughness to the game. Don Leggat personified all these qualities and more on the squash court. Affectionately known as “The Silver Fox” Don was a respected and accomplished competitor on the world stage. Born in Hamilton in January 1929 Don was drawn to squash after a very successful career in handball. In 1954 Don was invited to play a game of squash at the historic Hamilton Thistle Club. It was the beginning of a career that would last more than 50 years.
Don’s record in the annals of Ontario squash is second to none. Just seven years after taking up the game he was crowned the Canadian Hardball Open Singles Champion. He was proud of his title as World Senior Hardball Champion. When squash stopped using the hardball he was last to hold the title – a title no one could take away from him. Don went on to win 21 more Ontario singles and double titles in various age categories and captured 16 Canadian singles and double championships and 8 double titles in the U.S. Don’s reputation as a force in squash was known worldwide in squash circles. In fact, the world’s best player of the time – Hashim Khan – penned in his book that Don/s serve was the fastest and hardest he has ever seen. Quite a tribute. Few people knew of Don’s generosity in mentoring juniors and sending them to play- with his financial assistance – to national events. He gave to the sport in other ways, too.
For three years Don was the President of the Canadian Squash Association. Don’s talent on the squash court afforded him global travel. He represented Canada numerous times in England, South Africa, the USA, and Asia. Don was a respected ambassador not only for the game of squash but for Canada. The Ontario Squash Hall of Fame recognized his contribution to the game by inducting him into the Hall in 2009. Don loved other sports, too. His daughter Joanne remembered that her dad loved to compete and play games. Among his other favourites: golf; waterskiing – barefoot!
On the court, DON LEGGAT was a fierce competitor. He played hard, fair, and gave “no quarter.” Off the court, he was generous – to a fault – helping build the game of squash in our area, in Ontario, and across Canada. Canadian squash was fortunate to have DON LEGGAT in the game. One can easily see why the BURLINGTON SPORTS HALL OF FAME is proud to add the name – DON LEGGAT – to the scroll of 2018 Inductees.