Washington State Legends of Soccer is pleased to announce establishment of the Jimmy Gabriel Memorial Scholarship Fund, to further assist our state’s youth in becoming their best selves. For more than 40 years, Jimmy Gabriel’s influence on the development of our state’s soccer community, on several levels, cannot be overstated. Now, thanks to the generous support and leadership of individuals and organizations, the Jimmy Gabriel Memorial Scholarship Fund can build on that legacy.
Our community was profoundly saddened by Jimmy’s passing in 2021 at the age of 80, however we believe that through the JGMSF his spirit lives on. The fund will be administered by Washington State Legends of Soccer, a 501(c)3 organization founded in 2016 to celebrate our state’s soccer past and preserve its future.
“Jimmy Gabriel was an inspiration as a player and coach for generations of Pacific Northwest soccer fans,” said WA Legends president Frank Gallo. “After his success playing and coaching professionally, he shared his insights about our beautiful game and his genuine compassion for fellow players and fans from college ages down to youth levels. Jimmy lives on in the memories of all of us whose lives he touched. His scholarship fund is a wonderful reminder for us and truly a blessing for recipients.”
Friends Paying Tribute
Two good friends of Jimmy Gabriel who share his ties to the original Sounders, spearheaded the movement to establish the JGMSF, with the blessing of his family. David Gillett played beside and for Jimmy during the NASL club’s first five seasons. Alan Hinton, who succeeded Jimmy as coach, grew close to him in recent decades. They worked together on Sounders FC broadcasts and shared stories of playing in England’s top division, coaching the Sounders, working with youth and young professionals.
“From the moment the idea of contributing to a young person’s education was suggested, I knew that Jimmy Gabriel would have agreed this is a perfect vehicle to honor his life’s work,” said Gillett. “As a player and a person, Jimmy was intelligent and analytical, always willing to help others with coaching and personal advice. He understood that education was the key to developing life skills, and in conjunction with sport, one’s quality of life would be assured.”
“This scholarship is about giving young people what they need to succeed,” said Hinton. “Jimmy had a special gift. He would say to players, ‘How can we work together to make you a better player and person?’ He was always positive, always empowering, always thinking of ways to make training a place to enjoy the game.”
Mr. Sounder and More
Jimmy Gabriel was a son of Scotland, however more than half of his life was spent in Washington, as a coach and player. Beyond being the original Mr. Sounder, he worked with youth, collegiate men and women, senior amateurs and professionals. Jimmy was always seeking ways to get the most out of every player’s potential and harness those abilities such that the team would perform with a force far greater than 11 the individuals.
In spring of 2022, WA Legends will begin accepting applications to the Jimmy Gabriel Memorial Scholarship Fund. We encourage anyone and any organization who benefitted from Jimmy’s countless contributions, to consider donating toward this fund. Washington State Legends of Soccer is a 501(c)3 registered charity.