Lacrosse World mourns the passing of a Champion

Champion Canadian goalie Chris Sanderson
Champion Canadian goalie Chris Sanderson
Image © IL Indoor  
Sanderson and Australian goalie Steve Mackey
Sanderson and Australian goalie Steve Mackey  

Many people within the Australian lacrosse commmunity know Chr
is Sanderson, and almost everyone knows of him. This is especially the case for those those who have played Mens Lacrosse for Australia.  Not only was Chris an outstanding lacrosse player and coach, he was a remarkable human being who left a lasting impact on all of those who met him.  For me, it was the 2006 World Championship in London, Ontario, and as is customary at the end of a world championships I was at the bar. Canada had just won the World Championship for the first time in 28 years, and there was Chris Sanderson, fully kitted out in the Team Finland Velvet track suit. I was wanting to talk to him about his recent win, he was more interested in knowing if I knew Terry Sparks (former Australian Player, All World 1998) and all the other people he knew from the Eltham Lacrosse Club.  He was extremely approachable and down to earth.  

Chris Sanderson was diagnosed with brain cancer in Octorber 2008, and after an epic battle, word from his former team mate Jim Moss was that his fight could soon be reaching an end.  In a blog update titled "Time to say goodbye" Sanderson's wife Brogann wrote Monday that the focus is now on Chris's comfort in  his final days. "I do not know what exactly what Chris is thinking or feeling, but it is pretty clear that he has made the decision to end his battle on his terms, regardless of suffering."

On the 28th June, 2am North America time, Chris Sanderson passed away. 

Sanderson, 38, had undergone numerous surgeries and extensive treatments from the time he was dianosed in 2008.  Amazingly, in 2010 he represented Canada in the World Championships in London, England and was named All-World Goalkeeper.CBC Canada captured this amazing story in an interview titled 'Playing through adversity' .

As a player, Sanderson is attributed to Canada's amazing last quarter 11 goal comeback against the USA in the 1998 World Championship final, which they lost in overtime. This game, which has gone down in history as one of the best ever, planted a seed of self belief for the Canadians to believe they could beat the forever dominant USA.  The dream of gold was realised in 2006 when Canada defeated the USA to take the World Championship title. Fittingly, Sanderson was at the helm.

The thoughts, wishes and prayers of the Victorian and Australian lacrosse communities go out to Sanderson family and friends, the world over.


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