Robert McAllister Holmes
Born: April 2, 1930 (Red Deer, Alberta)
Died: January 11, 2015 (Victoria, British Columbia)
Bob Holmes played a season of professional hockey with the Wembley Lions of London in 1958-59, helping the club win the Ahearne Cup.
On Jan. 1, 1959, after a long night of celebrations to mark the new year, the Lions defeated the Soviet Wings by 10-8 before 9,000 fans at the Johanneshev Isstadion in Stockholm. Holmes scored a goal as the English team netted five goals in the game’s final 10 minutes for a come-from-behind victory. The Lions went on to win the Ahearne Cup international tournament.
Holmes, a 5-foot-11, 165-pound left winger, played three seasons in the Western Canada Junior Hockey League with the Medicine Hat (Alta.) Tigers (1948-50) and the Regina Capitals (1950-51). He spent the 1952-53 season with the Vernon (B.C.) Canadians of the Okanagan Senior Amateur Hockey League.
He was added to the Lions’ roster for Autumn Cup play in England in 1958-59. He scored 13 goals with 11 assists in 24 games.
The son of a conductor for the Canadian Pacific Railway, Holmes played peewee, midget and juvenile hockey in his hometown of Red Deer, Alta., before playing juvenile in Lacombe, Alta. He also played golf, tennis, baseball, and basketball, competed at track and field meets, and liked to ski.
He was known by the nicknames Rube and Ducky as a junior player. He was named a league Second Team All-Star in 1949-50. The Lethbridge Herald described him as a “slick left winger” known for “smart passing plays and finesse around the net.” Holmes could also deliver a hard hit, though he was not often penalized in Canada.
Holmes graduated from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto before going into practice in Winnipeg. He moved to Victoria, B.C., in 1976, retiring in 1998.