Laurence “Gilly” Goyer

Laurence Goyer – Inducted 1997

The name Goyer is prominent in Belleville sporting history and in the Belleville Sports Hall of Fame. But, “Gilly” Goyer’s last name could have been Smith or Jones and his accomplishments would still have earned him a place in the city’s sporting memory. His accomplishments on the ice are even more amazing considering the fact he achieved many of them after losing three fingers on his right hand below the knuckle after a duck hunting accident.

He would play 11 years in the American Hockey League, at the time just a step down from the National Hockey League. Several of those seasons he would be named an All Star. Goyer began his hockey career in his home town, playing with the Belleville Juniors in 1920 and then junior in Woodstock and Guelph. From there he moved on to New Haven of the Eastern United States League in 1927.

Known as Larry, he spent three seasons (1928-30) with the American Hockey League’s St. Louis Flyers, amazingly leading the league in scoring each year. Goyer spent the 1931 season with Tulsa and in 1932 returned home to Belleville to coach the city’s Ontario Hockey Association junior team to the league playoff finals. He returned to playing in 1933-34 and with the St. Paul-Minnesota team in the Central League again led a league in scoring. It was back to coaching in 1935 with the Belleville juniors, then a year playing minor pro in Pontiac, MI. G

oyer returned to his amateur roots in 1938, playing with the Wellington Quintes of the Prince Edward Hockey League, where – what else? – he led the league in scoring. Goyer was a consummate stick handler and playmaker who it can safely be said would have played in the NHL in later years. He was also, like many other fine hockey players, a top flight baseball player. He played centerfield and pitched with the Wellington team in the Prince Edward County Baseball League when they won a championship in 1929. The outstanding hockey and ball player was also known to be generous to a fault and he also counselled younger players both as a junior coach and after his retirement from the game. Goyer never married. He passed away in 1962.

1997, athlete, individual,