Clarke Harnden

Clarke Harnden

For over forty years Clarke Harnden was a mainstay of the Cobourg Community Hockey League!

A volunteer, a member of the executive, a tournament organizer, but to all of those who were lucky enough to know him he will always be remembered first and foremost as a coach. Clarke gave his time, his knowledge, and more often than not his patience, in teaching prospective young hockey players the fundamentals of the game. But perhaps more importantly, Clarke also passed along his passion and pure joy for the game to generations of young boys and girls in our community.

In addition to his time on the rink, Clarke also leant his coaching expertise in the summer on the diamond, coaching teams to the Tyke EOBA championship in 1970 and 1987. As a player he was a long-time fixture in the Cobourg Town League, winning a number of league batting championships as well as playing on the 1949 Dunham Aces championship team and as a member of the 1953 OASA Intermediate B Eastern Ontario Softball championship team. In 2000, Clarke began coaching in Baltimore with a dream to keep coaching until he coached his great-grandchildren … a dream that he fulfilled.

One of those countless youngsters who learned the game from Clarke was future three-time Stanley Cup Champion and longtime NHL coach Steve Smith; “Clarke truly made you feel better about yourself every time he crossed your path. I wish more people got to see just how special he was … he was the Pied Piper when he opened the doors to the old Cobourg Arena. I treasure my memories of his charismatic smile and inviting spirit that only a lifelong coach could give. His kindness, generosity, and selflessness were second to none. All these years later, I still try to emulate his patience, wisdom and knowledge with the players I am lucky enough to coach – passing on the true gift that he gave to everyone he met”.



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