FRISCO, Texas – Despite unseasonably warm North Texas temperatures, a large crowd gathered just north of the Pizza Hut Park stadium field Saturday afternoon to commemorate Richard "Dick" Hall's induction to the Walk of Fame.
The ceremony joined the former Dallas Tornado star and long-time youth soccer coach with the likes of Lamar Hunt, Kyle Rote Jr. and Carla Overbeck as honorees who have played vital roles in establishing the sport of soccer in Texas.
“As a young fan of the Dallas Tornado, I marveled at Dick’s skill and athleticism," said Hunt Sports Group Chairman Clark Hunt before introducing Hall at the induction ceremony, which took place just prior to FC Dallas' game against the Colorado Rapids. "In addition to giving Dallas its first pro soccer championship, Tornado players like Dick Hall laid the foundation for the popularity of soccer here in North Texas."
Hall has been a prominent figure on the North Texas soccer scene for almost four decades. In 1970, he moved to the U.S. from England to sign with the Dallas Tornado of the North American Soccer League.
"We didn’t really know how long it (soccer in America) was going to stay or even if it was going to make it," Hall said of his decision to come play in the States.
In seven years with the Tornado he earned several league All-Star honors. After gaining his U.S. citizenship, Hall made four appearances for the U.S. Men’s National Team between 1973 and 1975.
While playing on the professional and international level, Hall still took time to mold the game’s future generations of players. In 1971, he became the boy’s soccer coach at Greenhill School in Addison.
Hall said that many of the Tornado players in the 70s were encouraged to coach the game at the high school level as a way of building a fanbase for the sport in America. But coaching quickly became much more important to him.
"I just fell in love with it," said Hall. "After I retired in ‘76, I was fully engulfed in the coaching side of it and that’s what I’ve done for the past 30-plus years."
Under Hall’s leadership, the Greenhill School’s varsity teams have earned more than 500 wins and 15 Southwest Preparatory Conference titles. Hall also spent more than 20 years as a coach with the Longhorn Soccer Club in North Texas.
Hall was nominated for the honor by the parents of a former player, who wrote in their nomination that he deserved the award because “he uses the game of soccer and a great sense of humor to teach life skills that serve kids long after their days on the pitch are over.”
The Walk of Fame sits just north of Pizza Hut Park and runs directly through the center of the youth soccer fields immediately south of Technology Drive. Eighteen commemorative markers are located within this area, each recognizing members of the soccer community who have been instrumental in helping build the sport in Texas.
For more information about the Walk of Fame, click here.