Down Memory Lane article - by Stan Shillington
Has it really been three decades since tall, good-looking Jim Aitchison burst onto the West Coast boxla scene in a Coquitlam Adanac uniform?
Long hair flowing over his collar, a scruffy beard and moustache patching over parts of his face, Jim's style and lack of grace gave the distinct impression that he was the game's most unorthodox participant.
His ungainly stride gave him an awkward appearance; he shot and passed the ball cross-handed; he charged, and often overran, after loose balls; he made many mistakes. But his hustle was endless, his desire to learn unbounded, ingratiated Jim to Adanac fans.
Still, many so-called experts shook their doubting heads and wondered if the charismatic Aitchison would last. But last he did, to become the Coquitlam Adanacs' all-time scoring leader.
Aitch began his lacrosse life relatively late in terms of development. New Westminster-born, Jim was more interested in hockey and basketball until he picked up a lacrosse stick when he was aged 17. One year later, he found himself in a Coquitlam J-Hawk (Junior A) uniform.
Before he retired in 1982, Aitch had been named a league All-Star four times, had twice surpassed 90 points in a single season and had accumulated 415 goals and 495 assists for 910 career points - more than any other player amassed in an Adanac uniform.
Jim, now sans facial fuzz and with a receding hairline that stretched back to the nape of his neck, accepted the honour with a stand-up schtik that would have made a professional comedian proud. His acceptance speech was hilarious, albeit slightly longer than his 12-year playing career. It ended with a tribute to his teammates - he named every single one of them who played with Coquitlam between 1971 and 1982. And, as if that weren't enough, he added the coaches, trainers, managers and even many of his opponents.
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