Sports dinner replaces Lindros

KATHERINA DEHAAS -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:08 AM ET

Lindros is out. But Fantuz, Williams and Burgess are in.

Once a confirmed guest at the London Sports Celebrity Dinner and Auction on Jan. 21, Eric Lindros has cancelled his attendance.

The former Londoner and recently retired NHL power forward can't attend due to a work obligation. Upon retiring in November, Lindros took a job with the NHL Players' Association as an ombudsman and that will keep him out of London.

At his retirement announcement in London, Lindros gave $5 million to London Health Sciences Centre.

He's not the first guest to withdraw. Also forced to bow out were world rowing champions Jane Rumball and Darcy Marquardt. They're unable to attend due to training commitments in Florida.

But the roster of confirmed guests has expanded to include Saskatchewan Roughrider and former Western Mustangs receiver Andy Fantuz.

Fantuz was named the top Canadian in the 2007 Grey Cup after scoring the winning TD against Winnipeg. He played four seasons at Western and won the Hec Crighton Award.

Barney Williams is a retired rower with an Olympic silver medal in men's four in 2004 and a world championship.

Also confirmed is Michael Burgess, best known for his role as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables. He'll sing the national anthem at the dinner, and perform two songs for the Thames Valley Children's Centre youngsters during an afternoon function.

And despite losing Lindros, hockey fans need not despair completely. Former Toronto Maple Leaf Dave (Tiger) Williams and Hockey Hall of Famer Yvan Cournoyer will be in attendance along with hockey great Doug Gilmour.

The emcee will be former Londoner, actor Chris Potter of Kung Fu fame.

Keynote speaker is two-time Olympic speed skating champion Catriona Le May Doan.

London Knights trainer Don Brankley, in his final season with the team, will be honoured at the dinner.

The dinner and auction is a charity event, with proceeds going to the Thames Valley Children's Centre and the Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic.

Tickets are $150 (adult) and $75 (youth) and can be purchased at the Centennial Hall box office, by phone at 519-672-1967, or online at centennialhall.london.ca.


Videos

Photos