Cape Breton man still skating strong at 90 years of age
Many Maritimers like to partake in a little pickup hockey from time to time, but there is something special about one Cape Breton man who straps on the skates for a game of shinny.
Mike Campbell has always loved hockey; whether it be watching his beloved Toronto Maple Leafs or hitting the ice himself.
Campbell laces up his skates three times a week with his buddies.
“I just love the competition. I love the exercise. I never have to force myself to go,” says Campbell.
The life-long rink rat, who turns 90 years old on Friday, just might be the oldest active hockey player in the Maritimes, or perhaps even the country.
Many would have hung up their skates decades ago, but Campbell says it's the guys he plays with that keep him young.
“They always give me encouragement,” says Campbell. “Nobody at any time ever said ‘you should quit.’”
Campbell has been a defenceman ever since he started playing on the pond as a child. He still skates well, moves the puck, and has that competitive fire.
“He loves the game so much,” says teammate Blair Joseph. “He always gives 100 per cent. If you go by him, you pay the price with the stick.”
“He's the first guy here, and the last guy off the ice and he's the dirtiest guy on the ice, I mean it too,” laughs teammate Roger ‘Bomber’ Garabb.
Campbell says there is a reason for his aggressive style of play.
“I just don't want to embarrass myself, so I play hard.”
Despite his age, Campbell's no slouch when it comes to ice time.
“He's on every second shift. We have four D, two guys come on for a minute, come off, he goes right back on. He doesn't miss a shift,” says Joseph.
Campbell says his secret is a healthy lifestyle. He never smoked or drank and the father of 12 still shovels his driveway and takes care of a graveyard every summer.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Ryan MacDonald