Harold Moxon (Winger) Thomas was born in Bradford, England, on Dec. 14, 1904. He grew up playing soccer and cricket, and was a track and field champion at two secondary schools in his native country. As a young man, he played in the Bradford City Football Club organization.
It was soccer and a job in the Canadian National Railways shops that brought him to Stratford in the spring of 1928. With him came the nickname Winger.
For the next 20 years he played with the Stratford Nationals in the Western Football Association, mostly as their goalie. For 10 years he also played for a CNR team that won the Southwestern Ontario Cricket League championship in 1933 and 1936. Also in 1936, he married Annie Pearl Mitchell (1909-2000).
For more than the next five decades, he covered the gamut of sports in and around Stratford for the Beacon-Herald, the weekly Stratford Times and the London Free Press. He also coached, managed and trained a variety of Stratford baseball and hockey teams, and acted as secretary of the Stratford Lawn Bowling Association, chairman of the Stratford Nationals of the Intercounty Baseball League, and supervisor of the Rotary-Y Hockey League. In 1971 he was named Stratford’s sportsman of the year. He and his wife Pearl lived at 20 Whyte Ave. He died in March 1982.
The Harold Winger Thomas Award
A trophy in his Wingers name is presented annually to a graduating player (in his or her final year of U14 eligibility) who demonstrates a combination of ability, sportsmanship, community involvement and academic achievement. A list of winners can be found on this site which is the source of text and pictures: Stratford Rotary Hockey
* Winger Thomas was inducted in the Sports Hall of Fame in 2023. See video below.