Timbers to honor Jimmy Conway with testimonial match
PORTLAND, Ore. – Partnering with the local soccer community, the Portland Timbers will honor former player and assistant coach Jimmy Conway with a testimonial and when they play host to a testimonial match Thursday, Aug. 26, at PGE Park. A team of former Timbers players will face a select team at 5 p.m., prior to the Timbers match against the Austin Aztex at 7 p.m.
Among the several events honoring Conway, who has been diagnosed with trauma-induced dementia, the testimonial match will pit a team of Timbers alumni against the Oregon Select XI, which is comprised of players Conway coached at the youth and collegiate levels. Conway is expected to play for both sides during the match.
Tickets for the day are $12 in advance and will allow entry into both the testimonial match and Timbers game against Austin; gates open at 4:30 p.m. Tickets are available through the PGE Park box office, area Ticketmaster locations, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at (800) 745-3000.
“Jimmy is a great person and a true gentlemen,” said Gavin Wilkinson, Timbers head coach and general manager. “He has done more for the development of the sport in the state of Oregon than people will ever truly realize.”
Conway, 64, will also be recognized by the Timbers during a special presentation at halftime of the match against the Aztex. In addition to his time with the Timbers, Conway also had a significant impact on the development of soccer at the youth and collegiate levels in Oregon for nearly 30 years.
The concept of a “testimonial” match has a long history in Europe and can be traced back to the days when clubs honored long-serving players prior to retirement. Conway’s family, friends and colleagues planned the testimonial activities after learning he had been diagnosed with trauma-induced dementia last fall.
Among the players scheduled to play for the Timbers alumni are Wilkinson (2001-06), John Bain (1978-82), Darren Sawatzky (2001), Paul Conway (2005), Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar (2002-06), Greg Howes (2001-02), Andrew Gregor (2004; 2007-08), Lee Morrison (2003-07), Brian Winters (2001-05) and Dale Mitchell (1978-82). Members of the Oregon Select XI side include former Timbers goalkeeper coach Jim Brazeau (2001-05; 2007-09) and player Eric Cronkrite (2004).
After starting his career in Ireland and with top-flight English clubs Fulham and Manchester City, Conway was transferred to the Timbers’ North American Soccer League franchise in 1978. He was one of the great playmakers of the Timbers’ NASL era, totaling seven goals and 15 assists in 61 matches during his three seasons as a player with the club. Conway, who earned 20 caps with the Ireland National Team during his playing career, served as an assistant coach for the Timbers from 1980-81 and then again for the current franchise from 2001-05.
Conway’s coaching resume also includes time in the college ranks with Pacific University and Oregon State University as well as three decades at the youth levels, coaching elite teams at the state and regional levels. He recently retired after 28 years as the director of coaching for Oregon Youth Soccer Association.
Additional information on the Jimmy Conway testimonial and its events can be found on the official website at www.jimmyconway.com.