TORONTO – On the heels of the best season in club history, Toronto FC is looking ahead towards a bright future while keeping one eye on the past.
New to BMO Field in 2017, the Reds have unveiled a Wall of Honour serving as a nod to the now decade old history of the club. The wall stands adjacent to the Gate 1 entrance of the stadium.
“We always have to remember where we came from, whether that’s last year or 10 years ago,” Toronto FC General Manger Tim Bezbatchenko told TorontoFC.ca. “It’s an important moment as we kickoff yet another season in Toronto.”
The wall currently houses 14 plaques, each telling their own story dating all the way back to the club’s inception in 2007.
“We want fans to be able to come up and acknowledge some of the past legends of the club and celebrate the players that are still here,” Bezbatchenko continued.
The stars of today and yesteryear were on hand to unveil the Wall of Honour, as Sebastian Giovinco, Danny Dichio, Dwayne De Rosario, and Jim Brennan posed beneath the plaques hung in their honour.
“It’s great that these guys are still a part of our club,” Toronto FC President Bill Manning said. “They feel great about our organization. Whenever you have guys like this in the community that feel a part of it and they’re saying the right things out there, it only helps us.”
The wall is split between some of the iconic moments in the club’s history, such as the first goal scored at BMO Field and the memorable Eastern Conference Championship over the Montreal Impact, and MLS honours like De Rosario’s All-Star and Best XI selections.
The one plaque that stands out from the rest dons a slightly different color, as Toronto FC commemorates the 1976 NASL champions, Toronto Metros-Croatia.
“We honoured them last year in honour of their 40th anniversary of their NASL Championship, so we just thought it would be nice to give them a nod and memorialize them,” Manning added.
With their days as an expansion team long since placed in the rear-view mirror, the Reds are eagerly looking to the stars of today to create the iconic moments of tomorrow.
“We’re building history,” Manning explained. “This is something that we’ll hopefully keep adding to. Ultimately that’s what we’re looking to do, we want to keep building that history.”