Windsor - August 26, 2013 - The Windsor Spitfires Foundation recently held the inaugural “Mickey’s Run”, in honour of their late captain. In this, the second of a three part series, I talked with Mickey’s parents Mark and Jane Renaud, and former Spitfires Eric Wellwood and Adam Henrique.
Mark and Jane Renaud
TC: Can you talk about Mickey and what this day means to you both?
MR: It’s a wonderful day, a remembrance for us. What’s nice about it, and what I always say to people, is that a big part of Mickey’s legacy is that he continues to inspire others to do nice things. Things like this fundraising event are very important to us, and it’s a wonderful way to have Mickey remembered. We’re very appreciative of that.
JR: He was amazing. I always say he wasn’t just good, he was great. And it started when he was a little kid. He was just outstanding in every way, a heart as big as could be. He would strive to be the best at everything, but he was also very humble. Everyone saw the end result as a Spitfire, but he was born like that. He was just amazing.
TC: We have a great turnout today, it says a lot about Mickey.
MR: It’s a great day, and we’re thrilled that Mickey is remembered this way, and it’s so nice that people have come out to support an event like this.
TC: Eric, you played two seasons with Mickey, can you tell me about him?
EW: Everybody knows this by now, but he was a great character guy. He had the biggest heart of anybody I’ve ever met in my life. He started the ball rolling for the guys to gel into the team that we ended up having in Windsor when we won the two Memorial Cups. And even though he wasn’t there physically he was there for every game, every adversity. We had Mickey things all around the room to remind us, and he probably played the biggest part without even being there physically.
TC: Today there are reminders around the rink, and the Spitfires are carrying on his legacy.
EW: Yeah, and I think that’s great of the organization. He meant a lot to them and to everybody in this community and I learned a lot from him by playing with him for two years. I knew him a couple of years prior to that too. I’d work out with him and DJ Smith and I learned how to work hard and I attribute a lot of my success to him. How to be a good guy in the dressing room, how to work in the gym and off the ice, how to take care of your body and how to prepare for a hockey game.
TC: Henny, can I get some thoughts from you about Mickey?
AH: He’s someone we’ll never forget, and he was a big part of our team. When we came to the team we were really young , he was our leader, a guy who we all looked up to. For us younger guys, he was someone we could talk to, he would tell us how to handle certain situations, and what we should expect. He drove a lot of the guys around, and he made it a lot more comfortable for the new guys coming into the league. He was a guy that I looked up to, and I tried to emulate what he brought to the team, I tried to take some of what he did, and put it into my career, my hockey, and work ethic.
Any time you get days like this, when you get the guys together, or like last summer when we had the reunion, he comes up a lot. We still tell stories, it’s fun talking about him. Today you see how all the people from the community have come out, and it keeps his memory alive.
We’ll never forget what he meant to us and to the team, and the community here, and what type of person he was.