“We have lost a true Canadian original,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper – a hockey fan who is writing a book about the sport – tweeted. “R.I.P. Stompin’ Tom Connors. You played the best game that could be played.”
Charles Thomas Connors was born Feb. 9, 1936, in Saint John, N.B. His childhood was harsh: He was put in a foster home, adopted by a family in Skinner’s Pond, PEI, and left home at 15.
According to legend, his musical career was launched in the 1960s, when he was a nickel short of a beer at the Maple Leaf Hotel in Timmins, Ont. The bartender agreed to give him a drink if he would play a few songs. He stuck around for more than a year.
Here he is at The Horseshoe Tavern in 1973.