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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

RON NORTHCOTT

Inducted in 1970

Member Details

Date of Birth: December 31, 1935
Place of Birth: Innisfail, Alberta
Sport: Curling
Member Category: Athlete

Career Highlights

1963-64,66,69

Alberta Men's Curling Championship Title

1966,68-69

Macdonald Brier Title

World Curling Championship Title

Honoured Member RON NORTHCOTT
Inspire

Story

Ron Northcott is one of the most successful skips in Canadian curling history. Northcott was a member of six Alberta men's championships teams, one as third and five as skip, and represented his province at the Macdonald Brier six times in seven years. His rink claimed three Brier titles for Alberta--in 1966, 1968, and 1969—and went on to win the world championships title each of these years. Northcott's greatest victory came March 7, 1969, as he skipped his Alberta rink to its third Macdonald Brier championships in four years, squeezing out a tense 9-8 win over Saskatchewan. Northcott went into the hack with the last rock, while Saskatchewan had a rock on the four-foot rain and a guard out in front. Ron could see about three-quarters of the inside rock. He came out of the hack with that long, sliding delivery of his and let the stone go. It ran true to the Saskatchewan rock, knocked it out, and came to rest on the 12-foot circle to count one and win the Brier. With this triumph, Northcott's rink became the first to go undefeated through a Brier, winning all ten matches. The victory advanced him into the world championships at Perth, Scotland, a competition he was already quite familiar with, having won it in 1966 and 1967. Northcott proved his reign was not over when he skipped the rink to its third world title, feat only surpassed by one other team. Northcott won the world titles with three different third men on the rink. He had Jimmy Shields in 1966, George Fink in 1968, and Dave Gerlach in 1969. Enduring members of his winning rink were lead Fred Storey and second Bernie Sparks. Known as the Owl because of his large, horn-rimmed glasses, Northcott was known for his superb control and his ability to place a stone at will. His fellow curlers said of him, "Northcott owns the four-foot," meaning that he had an uncanny knack to draw to the innermost ring whenever he wished. One of his greatest assets was his ability to read the ice. He could gauge the trickiest of surfaces within the first two or three ends and could play even the most temperamental ice with consummate skill. A true expert in the technicalities of the game, Northcott imparted his knowledge with the public in "Curling Tips," a column which ran in the Toronto Star from the late 1960s to the early '70s. For his superb record, Northcott was inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame in 1973.


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