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Queen's University

Queen's Encyclopedia

Pierce, Alfie (1874-1951)

[photo of Alfie Pierce]

Known to generations of students simply as "Alfie," Pierce is a legendary figure in Queen's history for his years of association with Queen's sports teams. He was a gifted athlete and, as a boy, frequented the playing fields around Queen's.

When he was 15, football captain Guy Curtis named him, with the thoughtless bigotry typical of the day, as "team mascot." He was associated with Queen's teams almost without interruption for the next 62 years as a trainer, assistant coach, unofficial security guard, and general supporter. For years, he lived in Richardson Stadium in the summer and the Jock Harty Arena in the winter.

Pierce was a talented football and baseball player in his own right and was a star of the eastern Ontario lacrosse circuit until his early 40s. The longer he stayed at Queen's, the more he became a legend. His parades across the football field in front of stands of cheering students prior to games were a fixture right up until his death.

He was widely regarded as the personification of the Queen's spirit and, in 1950, the new trophy for Queen's best first-year male and female athletes was named in his honour. When he died in 1951, his body lay in state in the Gymnasium for two hours as lines of students and alumni filed past. It is one of Queen's legends that his ghost haunts the John Deutsch University Centre (JDUC).

Alfie's, a pub within the JDUC, is named in his memory.

He is buried in the Cataraqui Cemetery.

[photo of Alfie Pierce with the 1892-93 men's hockey team]

Alfie Pierce with the 1892-93 men's hockey team

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000