Harold William Evans
Died: February 14, 2014 (Calgary, Alberta)
Member: Alberta Amateur Sports Hall of Fame (1968)
For 20 years, Harold Evans was one of Canada’s top amateur wrestlers, three times winning the national championship in his division. He also competed for Canada at the 1959 Pan American Games in Chicago.
Evans served in the Canadian navy during the Second World War, serving aboard the destroyer HMCS Assiniboine before being discharged in September, 1945.
He won the Alberta amateur flyweight (less than 114 1/2 pounds) championship the following year, holding on to the title for a remarkable 20 years until retiring from the sport.
Evans won the national title in his division in 1952, 1953 and 1956. The first and last of those were victories at tournaments that doubled as Olympic qualifications, though Evans was not selected for the team in either year. (In 1956, Canada only sent two of eight division champions to the Olympics at Melbourne, Australia.)
Evans was also national runner-up in his weight class in 1954 and again in 1955, when he lost the title after being pinned by Antti Filppula of Sudbury, Ont. The Calgary wrestler finished in third place in the 1958 tournament held in Vancouver.
Evans was eliminated from Pan Am Games competition in the second round after losing to Dick Wilson of Toledo, Ohio, the eventual gold-medal winner and a three-time Olympian.
After retiring as a competitor, Evans coached other wrestlers at the YMCA in Calgary. Most of his working life was spent with the Canadian Pacific Railway. In retirement, Evans crisscrossed the continent in a motor home. He died on Valentine’s Day, aged 93.