By Michael Lewis
Tommy Ord, who played for the New York Cosmos, Rochester Lancers and Seattle Sounders, among several days and who made North American Soccer League history, has passed away.
He was 68.
His long-time friend and former teammate, George Gibbs made the announcement on his Facebook page Tuesday morning.
“Today I have just received some very sad news about my very close friend from school days through playing professional soccer with in England and the United States,” Gibbs wrote. “My dear mate Tommy Ord has passed. I am at a loss for words at the moment. RIP Tom. We shared so many fun times together in our youth. You will always be in my heart ❤️. Love you Tom. Now you can score those wonderful goals above. …”
Gibbs later said on this writer’s Facebook page:
“Fantastic friend, player, person, great sense of humor. Proud to call him my friend. RIP Tom.”
Ord was involved in several historical milestones in the NASL.
In 1975, he enjoyed a career year with the Lancers, recording 14 goals and four assists in 18 games for a team that would finish at 6-16 before he was dealt to the Cosmos for $75,000. At the time, it was the highest transaction made between two league teams.
He also had the distinction of playing in the NASL game that featured Pele’s first goal in 1975 and in the Black Pearl’s final competitive match in 1977.
In the 1975 match in Rochester, Ord started for the Lancers, but did not score in what turned into a 3-0 Cosmos victory.
In Soccer Bowl 77, Ord tallied Seattle’s lone goal in a 2-1 Cosmos triumph in Portland, Ore.
The London, England native also performed for the Montreal Olympique, Vancouver Whitecaps, Tulsa Roughnecks and Atlanta Chiefs in the NASL and for the Buffalo Stallions and Phoenix Inferno in the Major Indoor Soccer League.
More details coming.