Peter Collins. (FrontRowSoccer.com Photo)
Peter Collins, the late president of the Long Island Junior Soccer League, will be honored with the Paul LeSueur Ambassador of the Game Award at the Long Island Soccer Player Hall of Fame ceremonies on Saturday, Feb. 26.
Ceremonies will be held at the Huntington Hilton in Melville, N.Y.
The namesake of the award, LeSueur, a former New York Cosmos player, was an outstanding member of the Nassau County, Garden City, N.Y. and Long Island soccer communities. He was a peer of Collins in many ways.
Collins was president of the LIJSL from 1977-2004, as he grew the youth soccer league from a small community-based organization to one of the largest youth soccer organizations in the world. Collins, considered by many “the father of Long Island soccer,” passed away at 87 in 2018.
Doc Lawson, Peter Jianette, Nicky Megaloudis, John Lignos, Jean Varas and Mary Theresa Varas will be inducted into the Hall.
The Hall also will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the New York Arrows, who won their fourth and final Major Indoor Soccer League championship in 1982.
“The Class of 2022 is an extraordinary example of the amazingly rich history of soccer on Long Island,” LISPHOF founder Kevin L. McCrudden said. “In the early days of men’s and women’s soccer in America, you can find the footprints of some of the greatest and most influential players in America on Long Island. Never mind one of the most influential people in American soccer history, Mr. Peter Collins. Truly one of the ‘founding fathers’ of youth soccer on Long Island and America.”
Added Hall executive director Jim Kilmeade: “The Long Island Soccer Player Hall of Fame not only represents world class athletes, but world class human beings. On behalf of our board of directors, we look forward to learning about their individual life stories and are honored to induct this distinguished Class of 2022. These seven individuals have collectively inspired and impacted the lives of thousands of young soccer players, coaches and fans across Long Island and the Country. We look forward celebrating the 1981-82 national champion – NY Arrows and the careers of Doc Lawson, Peter Jianette, Mary Theresa Varas, Jean Varas, Nick Megaloudis John Lignos and the man at the forefront of the sport on Long Island, Mr. Peter Collins.”
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