Ritch Dowrey - 2 Years Later

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D
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Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:48 pm

What follows is a recent interview with 3rd Down, As we all know Ritch is a fighter and to me this shows how hard he has been fighting to get his life back on track.
Well Done Ritch! and a big Thank You to all the people who are working with him ... Amazing Progress!
[video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Epx4scbIDkk[/video]
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Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:34 pm

It is great to see Ritch doing so well! I have not been able to visit him yet, so this is the first video I have seen. It looks like he is much improved, and I am sure he will get better. Here's to you Ritch! :beer:

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Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:46 am

It's good to see that Ritch is making progress and has some ideas of what he wants to do and where he wants to live. Ritch is such a great guy and has so many friends across Canada. We all wish him well in his efforts to gain back more of life and happiness.

Thanks for those taking the time to make this video and sharing with all of us.

Dale

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PigSkin_53
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Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:58 am

Compelling story Derek!
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Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:24 am

Reading on Facebook that our friend Ritch, has passed away.

Sad day as 3rd Down was one of a kind. Rest in peace.
I'd love you to say it to my face because you'd only say it once...if you ever had the courage to say it at all!! Blitz, 05/24/2008

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Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:55 am

R.I.P. my friend, these last few years have been a struggle for you and you have fought hard to overcome the obstacles. I hope your at peace and in a better place.
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Sir Purrcival
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Sun Feb 01, 2015 9:17 am

Very sad. A loss for the entire football community.
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sj-roc
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Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:01 am

I only knew Ritch through his posts here and a one-time tailgate meeting in person so didn't know him as well as some other longer-serving contributors here but he was a quality guy. This is sad news indeed. I see his passing has also been noted on the riderfans board; it shows just how well-respected he was by fans of both his own team and rivals alike.
Sports can be a peculiar thing. When partaking in fiction, like a book or movie, we adopt a "Willing Suspension of Disbelief" for enjoyment's sake. There's a similar force at work in sports: "Willing Suspension of Rationality". If you doubt this, listen to any conversation between rival team fans. You even see it among fans of the same team. Fans argue over who's the better QB or goalie, and selectively cite stats that support their views while ignoring those that don't.

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Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:02 pm

Sad news. RIP

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smphantom
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Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:37 pm

Sad news. Always enjoyed having a beer and talking Lions football with Ritch at the Tailgaters and games.
RIP brother.
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Sun Feb 01, 2015 2:52 pm

We miss you Ritch, glad you are at peace now. You always had a great smile and were the biggest Damon Allen fan I knew.

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Ravi
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Sun Feb 01, 2015 9:04 pm

Didn't Ritch also coin the term "CaseyMania"? Sad to hear of his passing and especially after having a tough last few years.

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sj-roc
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Sun Feb 01, 2015 9:05 pm

The Province printed an article about Ritch today.

http://www.theprovince.com/news/Victim+ ... story.html
Victim of 2009 West End gay bashing dies

Ritch Dowrey had lived in care facilities since being knocked unconscious in a Davie Street pub


By Dan Fumano, The Province February 1, 2015 6:05 PM

A Vancouver man has died, after spending the final five-and-a-half years of his life with permanent brain damage suffered in a 2009 assault that a judge said was motivated by “virulent homophobia.”

Ritch Dowrey had been in care facilities and unable to live independently since sustaining a catastrophic brain injury when he was sucker-punched at a Davie Street pub in March 2009. He was 62 at that time.

Dowrey died Saturday around noon, a family member confirmed.

His attacker, Shawn Woodward of Vancouver, was convicted of aggravated assault in 2010. In sentencing Woodward to six years in jail, Judge Jocelyn Palmer said the “outrageous” unprovoked assault fit the framework of a hate crime.

On March 13, 2009, Dowrey was at the Fountainhead Pub in Vancouver’s West End, spending a Friday night with friends, shooting pool and celebrating his retirement.

Dowrey was left unconscious when his head struck the floor after he was punched once in the face by Woodward, who was 35 at the time.

In her reasons for sentence, Palmer wrote in 2010: “It is clear from the Victim Impact Statements filed by Mr. Dowrey’s brother, son and daughter that they feel they have lost the man he was prior to March 13, 2009. It is tragic that on the day he was celebrating his retirement all his future plans were cancelled by a single punch.”

Dowrey was a “super cheerful, positive guy” who loved his family and his sports — especially football and his beloved B.C. Lions — said Lindsay Wincherauk, a friend of Dowrey, who witnessed the assault.

Looking back at that “devastating” night, Wincherauk recalled Sunday how he and a group of men followed Woodward out on to Davie Street after the attack and detained him until police arrived.

“I confronted him and said, ‘Do you understand what you’ve just done?’ And he started shouting out ‘The faggot touched me. I’m not a fag.’ And a whole bunch of horrible, horrible things,” Wincherauk said Sunday.

In November 2010, Woodward’s sentence of six years in jail was welcomed by gay community leaders, who expressed satisfaction the judge had treated motivation as a key factor in a tough sentence.

Woodward filed an appeal, but in May 2011 the B.C. Court of Appeal dismissed it, upholding the original sentence.

Two years later, in May 2013, Woodward was granted full parole, less than halfway through his sentence, according to a report from Xtra, a gay and lesbian news outlet.

The Xtra report quoted the Parole Board of Canada’s decision, which said Woodward believed his sentence was “too punitive,” and noted that he had “demonstrated genuine remorse.”

Dowrey’s death marked a “tragic day,” said Dara Parker, executive director of QMUNITY, B.C.’s queer resource centre.

It was a stark reminder, Parker said, that despite some hard-won progress “there are many people who still experience discrimination that ranges from subtle homophobia to overt physical violence.”

The assault was “particularly disturbing, Parker said, “not because it’s unique in terms of a gay bashing — but that it happened in our village, in a gay pub, in a perceived safe space.”
Too much hatred in the world. Less, and Ritch might still be with us.
Sports can be a peculiar thing. When partaking in fiction, like a book or movie, we adopt a "Willing Suspension of Disbelief" for enjoyment's sake. There's a similar force at work in sports: "Willing Suspension of Rationality". If you doubt this, listen to any conversation between rival team fans. You even see it among fans of the same team. Fans argue over who's the better QB or goalie, and selectively cite stats that support their views while ignoring those that don't.

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sj-roc
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Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:54 am

Another article about Ritch, this one from the CBC.

I'm quoting the entire thing here, but the link is worth checking anyway for the added nearly-eight minute audio interview with Ritch's friend Lindsay, who appears to be the same Lindsay in the 2011 video D posted at the start of this thread.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-c ... -1.2942640
Ritch Dowrey, gay-bashing victim at Fountainhead Pub in 2009, dead

"He's never been the same person since the attack and never would be again," said a friend


By On the Coast, CBC News Posted: Feb 02, 2015 8:11 PM PT Last Updated: Feb 03, 2015 1:14 PM PT

Ritch Dowrey, the victim of a gay-bashing incident at a West End pub in 2009, died this weekend.

In March 2009, Dowrey went to the Fountainhead Pub to celebrate his retirement. He was punched without warning and left with permanent, profound brain damage. The court ruled that he was targeted because of his sexual orientation.

"He's never been the same person since the attack and never would be again," said Brian Wawryhsyn, a friend of Dowrey's.

Dowrey's friend Lindsay Wincherauk described him as a kind, carefree man who was always encouraging his friends. He loved boating and sports, the BC Lions in particular — he went to almost every game.

After the attack, Dowrey lived in care facilities. Wincherauk visited him for several years, but he said Dowrey couldn't recognize any of his old friends and he never regained the use of his legs.

Dowrey's attacker, Shawn Woodward, was convicted of aggravated assault in 2010 and sentenced to six years. He was released on parole in May 2013.

Jennifer Breakspear, former executive director of Qmunity, a LGBT resource centre, said the case still resonates within the community.

"This man's life was completely altered and well cut short by this brutal attack," said Breakspear. "That that would only merit three years in prison is appalling."

To listen to the full interview with Dowrey's friend Lindsay Wincherauk, click on the audio labelled Ritch Dowrey, gay-bashing victim at Fountainhead Pub, remembered by friend.
Sports can be a peculiar thing. When partaking in fiction, like a book or movie, we adopt a "Willing Suspension of Disbelief" for enjoyment's sake. There's a similar force at work in sports: "Willing Suspension of Rationality". If you doubt this, listen to any conversation between rival team fans. You even see it among fans of the same team. Fans argue over who's the better QB or goalie, and selectively cite stats that support their views while ignoring those that don't.

TheLionKing
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Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:44 am

The attacker should be charged with murder.

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