Bower book cover


A Legendary Life

“Robson does a great job of exploring some of the mysteries involving Bower, such as how old he really was, why and when he changed his name and why he did not appear in the NHL until late in his career.”

Winnipeg Free Press


Johnny Bower came to be known as one of the greatest Toronto Maple Leafs of all time, but he started from humble beginnings. He taught himself to play hockey on the frozen rivers of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, using a tree branch his father had sharpened into a stick and a cut-up old mattress for goalie pads. He’d spend hours in the frigid air, learning to catch the puck in mittened hands, never dreaming he would one day share the same ice as his Saturday-night idols. But share it he did, dominating the Leafs net for four Stanley Cup victories in the 1960s. He spent eleven seasons with the Leafs, playing well into his forties, although many believed he was older.

In Bower, bestselling author Dan Robson shares the never-before-told stories of Johnny’s life and career, drawing on extensive interviews with his wife, Nancy, and his immediate family, close teammates such as Leaf greats George Armstrong and Bobby Baun, and the friends who knew him and loved him best.

Winner of the Ontario Historical Society’s Creighton Award for best biography.





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