Canada men's soccer coach John Herdman and his silver VW Beetle

There's a story that speaks volumes about Canada coach Herdman.

One of his first cars was a silver VW Beatle, which he used to drive back and forth every weekend in England from university in Leeds to Consett to see his childhood sweetheart, now wife. Sometimes with a helping hand from his best man, who was good at fixing Bugs.

Then someone crashed into it, totalling the car. Herdman told his wife that some day, when he had time, he would get one to work on with his son.

Years later, in 2014, he unearthed a 1962 ragtop in Abbotsford, B.C., that needed a plenty of work. Then he found one in Toronto that was ready to go.

Herdman pondered the choice.

On one hand, he liked the prospect of working on the car with his son, Jay. But he also knew finding the time to do it with his hectic schedule would not be easy. So he bought the restored one, reasoning he and his family could share vintage car shows together.

It's a tale of loyalty and persistence, not to mention pragmatism. Herdman is well-stocked in all three.

"Coaching is my passion," he says. "It's what I get out of bed for every day and this is an opportunity to do something special."

He still has the car.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 15, 2022.

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press