Sportsnet How Derek Sanderson crashed and rose again

Discussion in 'Boston Bruins' started by Fenway, Oct 8, 2017.

  1. Fenway

    Fenway Administrator Sponsor

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    How Niagara Falls’ Derek Sanderson crashed and rose again




    On a rainy afternoon in Philadelphia, a young man walked into a Rolls-Royce dealership, curious because he’d never been close to such a pricey and prestigious car. He wore blue jeans and a matching jean jacket over an old sweater, with cowboy boots. His long brown hair settled on his shoulders, matching his moustache perfectly — a standard look for a 26-year-old professional hockey player from Niagara Falls in 1972. Especially for one nicknamed “The Turk.”

    The Rolls-Royce dealer, wearing a three-piece suit, sniffed at his presence, folded up the newspaper he was reading and got up from his desk. He grudgingly acceded to The Turk’s request to unlock the front door of a burgundy sedan so he could size up the front seat.

    “Sir, this is a long-wheelbase Silver Shadow limousine,” the dealer snorted. “Perhaps, if you purchased it, you’d be sitting in the back.”

    The snooty treatment embarrassed Derek Sanderson, who had grown up poor. It made him mad, vindictive and then foolish. Sanderson went to the bank to get a cashier’s cheque for $78,000 (that’s more than $400,000 in today’s dollars when adjusted for inflation). He returned to the dealership, made sure the salesman didn’t earn a commission and drove the Rolls-Royce right off the lot.
     
  2. sarge88

    sarge88 Registered User Sponsor

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    In 1981 I got injured playing little league. I ended up losing a kidney from the accident.

    My dad’s friend was close with Russ Conway who was a sportswriter for the Lawrence Eagle Tribune (and he was the guy who blew the lid off of Alan Eagleson corruption).

    I was a scared 11 year old waiting to have a 2nd major surgery in 5 days when Russ and Derek Sanderson came walking into my hospital room to visit and cheer me up.

    7 years later Derek came to my HS to do his drug and alcohol talk. Afterward I went up to him and reminded him of his visit and thanked him again for his kindness.

    He started tearing up saying that after the visit he talked to my parents in the hallway and they were really afraid that I may not live. I didn’t know it was that serious until that moment. He also told me that he told Russ to keep him posted on my progress, which he did.

    I will forever appreciate what he did for me that day!
     
    Last edited by moderator Fenway: Oct 8, 2017
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  3. ODAAT

    ODAAT Registered User

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    Great story about perseverance, recovery and hope. The greatest gift recovery brings me is the opportunity to pay it forward with those struggling who are hoping for change.
     
  4. Sharp Shooting Neely

    Sharp Shooting Neely Registered User

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    His book, “Crossing The Line” is worth a read. An unvarnished story as told by Turk. Attributes his survival as having a lot to do with the friend who never gave up on him, one Robert Gordon Orr.
     
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