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Obituary: Mike Squires was the force behind Mike's Shamrocks

Sponsor of the 1979 Herder Trophy winners, founder of the Shamrocks Athletic Association, dead at 72

Published on March 20, 2017
Mike Squires

Mike Squires, the man behind Mike’s Shamrocks, the St. John’s team that won the Herder Memorial Trophy and provincial senior hockey championship in 1979, died Monday. He was 72.

Squires was widely known for his Shamrock Athletic Association and Centre Base Bingo which supported charities and local sports teams, particularly in hockey.

In 1978, after the St. John’s Capitals senior hockey powerhouse was divided into two teams, Squires sponsored the Shamrocks, who were initially considered the second string to the Blue Caps, the other club that resulted from the St. John’s split. But after the Blue Caps won the Herder in 1978, it was Mike’s Shamrocks, wearing green and gold and using Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family” as a theme song, who marched all the way to the provincial championship, capping things off with a Game 7 overtime win over the favoured Gander Flyers in Gander.

Squires and the Shamrocks association also backed a junior team that won three St. John’s league titles and helped introduce Andy Sullivan, among others, to the local hockey scene.

But the work of Squires and the Shamrocks AA extended well beyond the senior and junior ranks.

“If it wasn’t for Mike Squires, I don’t know if I would have ever been involved in the game,” said Steve Power of St. John’s, president of the Canadian Ball Hockey Association.

“I think I was about 12 and going to Beaconsfield (junior high), but I couldn’t afford to play hockey there. But I was able to do so with the Shamrocks, because their sponsorship made it so much cheaper.

“And I know there were a lot of other kids like me.”

Squires was inducted into the Provincial Hockey Hall of Fame as a builder in 2004.

Resting at Caul’s Funeral Home, 84 LeMarchant Road. Visitation on Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m and Thursday from noon to 9 p.m. Funeral Mass will take place at 9:30 a.m. Friday from the Basilica of St. John the Baptist with cremation to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Clinic or a charity of one’s choice.