Bobby Orr: biography & personal life

Bobby Orr: biography & personal life

Bobby Orr – one of the greatest hockey players in the world, played for the “Boston Bruins” in the late 1960s – mid-1970s. Although he played a full 9 seasons (1966–1975) in the National Hockey League, and never saw his name top the scoring list, he is considered one of the greatest hockey players of all time. He revolutionized the game by combining defense with attack, defeating defenders and setting a record for becoming the NHL’s best scorer in two seasons.

This article is devoted to the sports biography and personal life of Bobby Orr.

Hockey genius

Robert Gordon Orr was born in 1948 in the resort town of Parry Sound (Ontario, Canada), located on the Gulf of Lake Huron in Georgian Bay. Her father, Douglas, was a packer of dynamite in a munitions factory, and Arva’s mother worked as a waitress in a motel restaurant. The family had 4 children: Ron, Patricia, Douglas Jr. and Penny.

Like most children in Parry Sound, Bobby began skating soon after learning to walk. Since this was easier to do with a stick, his interest in the game of hockey soon increased. The boy’s extraordinary potential was evident from the very beginning. By the time he was 9, he was able to play alongside adults on his father’s amateur team.

A young, blonde and blue-eyed Bobby Orr (photo is given in the article) was shorter and lighter than most of his teammates (even in his best years, in the NHL his height was less than 180 cm and weight 79 kg), but he impressed coach Parry Sound with his skill, speed and tenacity. In 1960, at the age of 12, he led his team to the last round of the Ontario Cup.

It was during this game that Bobby began attracting the attention of hockey agents. For him we have shown interest from many clubs, but the “Boston Bruins”, which was the worst in the NHL at that time, was the most active. To win the boy’s favor, the club has donated money to the youth hockey program Parry Sound, and its representatives regularly visit his family.

“Oshawa Generals”

The persistence of the “Bruins” has paid off. In 1962, 14-year-old Bobby signed a contract with the junior hockey team “Oshawa Generals”, a farm club of the Boston NHL participant. In return, Bobby Orr’s family received a small monetary compensation and new plaster on their home. In “Oshawa” he paid for his own room and received pocket money of $10 per week.

Feeling that the transaction had not been in his son’s favor, Douglas Orr hired Alan Eagleson, an experienced Toronto lawyer, to represent Bobby in future contract negotiations. The boy missed home, and a new family treated him even more seriously than his parents. On his four-year performance in “Oshawa”, he said, each is consistent with the results of ongoing efforts: People who are hard-working, know that in 18 years they will become professionals.

rookie of the Year

Bobby Orr played so well in the youth team that the “Boston Bruins” would have taken him a year earlier, if there had not been a rule restricting players to be at least 18 years old. When he joined the club in 1966, he became the highest-paid rookie in National Hockey League history, earning $25,000. USD. Per year. Whereas the average salary in NHL was 17 thousand. USD. One year, and the biggest star of the Detroit club, league legend Gordie Howe, “Red Wings” earned about 50 thousand for the year. Dollar.

Demonstrating the team spirit that earned Bobby true respect for his teammates, he asked his lawyer, Alan Eagleson, to organize an NHL players’ union. This played an important role in increasing the level of payouts for all players. By the end of his career, Orr earned $500 thousand. USD. per year, although this does not compare to the money players like Wayne Gretzky received after him. But this does not make any difference to the high salaries of today’s players. And now they are worried that they are making a lot of money, only 3 did well against 10.

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Sports achievements and career

Bobby Orr was in the NHL with such hype that it seemed impossible to live up to its reputation. However, he did not disappoint his fans. Despite this fact the “Bruins” again finished bottom of the six National League teams in the 1966–1967 season. Bobby won the Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year. The following season, the Boston team, strengthened by the acquisition of Phil Esposito, Ken Hodge and Fred Stanfield from the Chicago “Black Hawks”, finished third in the Eastern Division of the NHL and advanced to the Stanley Cup playoffs. Orr received the Norris Trophy, awarded to the league’s outstanding defenders (he won the award for the next 7 seasons). The once miserable “Bruins” are now among the most competitive teams in the National League.

stanley cup champion

Bobby Orr’s further sporting achievements are no less impressive. In the 1969–1970 season. The “Bruins” won the Stanley Cup for the first time in 29 years, defeating the “St. Louis Blues” in four straight games in the final playoffs. Orr scored the winning goal in overtime of the fourth game, securing the Cup for Boston. In addition to the Norris Trophy, he won the Hart Trophy (the NHL’s most valuable award), the Art Ross (leading league scorer) and the Smith (most valuable player in the playoffs). This was the first time that a hockey player received all 4 awards in a single season.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the NHL expanded rapidly in a city where hockey is not traditionally popular. Bobby Orr’s unprecedented exploits allowed tickets to be sold there and made hockey the national sport in the United States. He was a dominant figure, a charismatic personality, around whom in 70 years the entire hockey united, just as once golf united around Arnold Palmer, baseball – around Baba Ruth, and American football – around John Yuntasa. Was.

memorable goal of

One of the most memorable moments in the history of hockey, without a doubt, was the goal scored by Orr on Mother’s Day on May 10, 1970. After 29 years, the club “Boston Bruins” finally won the Stanley Cup. This was the meeting of the “St. Louis Blues” in the fourth match of the championship. On the covered field, the “Boston Garden” was hot and humid, and the game simply went into overtime. 30 seconds into the fourth period Orr picked up the puck on Larry Keenan and handed it to his teammate Derek Sanderson. Bobby ran to the gate, and Sanderson moved him. Once Orr shot the puck, “St. Louis Blues” defender Noel Pickard used his stick to deflect it.

The goal was scored, and photographer Ray Lussier succeeded in creating the famous photo of Bobby flying in the air parallel to the ice with arms outstretched, an expression of joy on his face. He had just returned from the Stanley Cup in Bosto.


hard style

The “Bruins” of the late 1960s and early 1970s played hard and dirty (in contrast to the pretty classical style of the “Montreal Canadiens”, the most consistent winner of the Stanley Cup). Bobby Orr was surprisingly polite and cleared the ice, but he never backed down from a fight during the game. Although he said it was not a dirty game, and always had a desire to do his bit by any means necessary, he realized later in life that violence and extremism were a bad example for children. In 1982, Orr directed a short film, “The First Goal”, which advised young athletes and their parents to first enjoy hockey and then win.

Sunset “Bruins

“In the 1970–1971 season, the “Montreal Canadiens” entered the playoffs, defeating the Boston club. He returned to the Stanley Cup in 1971–1972. But luck left the team. Some of T’s best players at the end of the season. H. Bright center forward Derek Sanderson, a fixture of the newly formed World Hockey Association. Many quality players from the second tier were lost to another expansion project. Orr remained with the “Bruins”, but the knee injury that had plagued him since the beginning of his professional career became more serious.

According to him, a young person everyone thinks that they are eternal and can conquer the world, but he already knew in 1974-1975 that everything has changed. Orr played, but not as much as before. He had pain in his knees before, during and after the match. He couldn’t do it before he could do it easily.

go to chicago

In 1976, the long-term relationship of hockey player Bobby Orr and the “Bruins” was interrupted due to a dispute over contracts. He became a defender of the Chicago “Black Hawks” as a free agent, but due to his knee problems he only played a few games on the ice for 2 seasons. In 1978 he reluctantly announced his retirement. After parting ways with the “Bruins”, Orr was not prepared for the reaction of Boston fans when his number 4 jersey was posted on the beam “Boston Garden” in 1979. This display of love left him speechless and on the verge of tears. The same emotions were felt at the closing ceremony of the old Boston Arena in 1995: the great hockey player drove onto the ice, the “Boston Garden”, for the last time.

financial difficulties

Bobby Orr’s problems did not end with his retirement. Eagleson represented him before he signed his first contract with the “Boston Bruins”, managing the hockey player’s finances, so that he was in large debt to the Canadian and American tax authorities. By 1980, Orr was, briefly, bankrupt. However, all of Eagleson’s crimes remained unclear for many years. In 1992 alone, a Canadian lawyer was charged in the US with 32 counts of racketeering, fraud and theft related to the time he led the league’s handling of NHL players. Ultimately he had to serve a sentence of 18 months.

Bobby Orr’s biography contains the following interesting facts: After Eagleson’s verdict he and 18 other players threatened to leave the Hall of Fame if the culprit remained in the Hall of Fame.


Although the Orr Professional did not appear on the ice for more than 20 years, its influence can still be seen in the game. He still remains the only quarterback who was the National Hockey League’s top scorer. His manipulation of the washer, which involved a 360-degree rotation, continues to inspire, and his long plays of 30 seconds and in the minority remain legendary. Yet, even though Orr often copied, no one could match his ability to combine defense with attack. Although players with long careers overtake him in the number of goals scored, his average of 1,39 points for a regular game and 1,24 points per game in the playoffs, it seems, the record of defenders for many years. Will last till.


Bobby Orr and his wife Peggy, a former physician, live in the suburbs of Boston, and also have homes on Cape Cod and Florida. They have two sons, Darren and Brent. Orr spends his time in a variety of investment and charitable activities. He has no interest in coaching and would like to return to professional hockey as a team owner. Orr is glad he retired young. The adaptation period was difficult, but he coped with everything. Now his life is good.

In 2002, Orr left sports marketing firm Woolf Associates to establish his own Orr Hockey Group, representing several NHL players.

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