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Gryphon Gallery: Geordie Lyall

As the 2022 Vancouver Whitecaps season gets underway, it is the perfect time to mention GNS’ only professional soccer player. Geordie Lyall attended GNS (Glenlyon Preparatory School) from 1982 to 1994.  

Geordie was an outstanding runner and soccer player at school, graduating to the University of Victoria and playing first XI soccer for its coach and 1986 World Cup player Bruce Wilson. He helped UVic win the CIAU National Championship in 1996.  

Geordie signed with the Whitecaps (then known as the Vancouver 86ers) for their 1999 campaign and spent 11 seasons with the club. He was a prominent member of the team that returned to its original name of Whitecaps and completed successful seasons in the A-League, USL-I, and finally contributed significantly to helping the team gain their announced franchise status to the MSL in 2009. 

The speedy fullback is ranked 15th on the Whitecaps’ all-time appearance list with 193 matches played and he helped win both the 2006 and 2008 United Soccer League First Division (USL-1) championship titles as a valuable member of the team. 2006 proved to be his best season with the club, as Lyall’s efforts that year earned him a spot in the USL-1 All-League First Team and a nomination for the league’s Defender of the Year award. As a result, he had the exciting opportunity to join Walsall of the English Second Division during their promotion-winning 2006/2007 season.

“Geordie was a dedicated member of our club,” said Whitecaps president Bob Lenarduzzi in a press release when Geordie retired.  “His biggest asset was speed and Geordie demonstrated over the years that he also had attacking qualities, while proving to be one of the most difficult defenders for opposition players to beat. On top of that, Geordie is a solid individual that was always a good team player.” 

Other highlights in his soccer career included a short spell in professional indoor soccer with former National Professional Soccer League club Edmonton Drillers in 2000/2001 and in December 2003, Lyall was a member of the Canadian Futsal national team that claimed a bronze medal in an international tournament in Anaheim, California—a recognition achieved on one other occasion by former Glenlyon teacher, Jim de Goede.

For a few years, Geordie returned to GNS as a Teacher-On-Call and he is now a Firefighter in the City of Vancouver. This is the fifteenth instalment of a series of articles entitled “Gryphon Gallery” created by our School Archivist that provide snapshots that celebrate the achievements of a variety of alumni and staff from throughout the history of GNS.