Doc Holliday remembers Ferguson

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 1:11 PM ET

He remembers it like it was yesterday.

Former Winnipeg Sun reporter Bob (Doc) Holliday was reminiscing about his dear old friend, John Ferguson known as the toughest hombre too have ever played in the NHL recently.

One of the funniest things I ever saw was when Andre the Giant came to town the two of them had become friends in Montreal and Andre put his arms around Fergies shoulders and lifted him right off the ground, said Holliday, who is also a local wrestling promoter. Then Andre wouldnt let Fergie go to a black-tie dinner at the Manitoba Club that night because they started drinking together.

Ferguson, then the Winnipeg Jets GM, eventually showed up with Andre the Giant, who has since passed on.

One of my favourite things is that I have a picture from Schmockey Night of Fergie wearing the original Dr. X Mask with Mad Dog Vachon wearing a wig and a dress, Holliday said.

And Ferguson could take a joke.

For his 50th birthday, I got him a big cake shaped like a nose, Holliday said with a chuckle, recalling the more prominent feature of Fergusons face.

Holliday first got to know Ferguson when he was a Winnipeg Tribune sports reporter.

I didnt know Fergie that well at the beginning but I was out covering soccer at Alexander Park, he recalled. Fergie loved senior soccer and he was out watching and he invited me back to his place for a barbecue. I went and after that, we became friends.

In fact, the morning after Winnipeg Jets president Barry Shenkarow fired Ferguson, Holliday was at Fergusons home screening his calls.

He just loved Winnipeg, Holliday added. He made most of his lasting friendships here. If not for his grandkids being down East, he and his wife, Joan, would have moved back here in a flash. She was very happy here. She was very involved in the community and she was an avid curler.

Holliday, who also invited Ferguson over to his famous bonfire parties, will miss that sometimes-grumpy former Montreal Canadien.

He was just a great person, Holliday said. He is one of my most favourite people Ive ever met. Hes on the all-star team.


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