High scoring Joe Beaton was one of the Canadian stars of the English National League in the 1930s and was its all-time leading scorer when he retired in 1947.
After three seasons with Richmond Hawks from 1934-35 to 1936-37 the diminutive centreman moved with coach Percy Nicklin to the new Harringay Greyhounds and was a stalwart on their top forward line until the outbreak of World War Two.
In his first season the Hawks played in the International Tournament and topped a group containing clubs from Berlin, Paris and Prague.
He captained the Hawks to runners-up spot in the 1935-36 English National League when they tied on points with winners Wembley Lions. ‘Little Joey’ was the league’s top scorer and the Ice Hockey World’s All-Star ‘B’ team selection.
He led the league scoring again the following year with the Greyhounds, and earned more All-Star recognition when he was voted onto the ‘A’ team in 1937-38 and 1939-40.
When the league resumed in 1946-47, he signed for Wembley Lions but a serious injury forced him to quit before the end of the campaign.
This was the second time the five-foot, five-inch, 145 lbs forward had been injured. The first, during his second year in Britain, had almost ended his career. Despite these misfortunes, his 170 goals and 287 points in seven seasons enabled him to out-point the league’s other scoring machines like Bobby Lee and Alex Archer.
His fellow Hall of Famer, defenceman Sonny Rost said: “Joe was one of the best I ever played against. He always had his head up and was a real smart playmaker and scorer.”
Prior to coming to London, the quiet, unassuming teetotaller played his first adult games in the Nova Scotia and Maritime senior leagues. During 1930-32 he helped Fredericton Capitals twice win their league, and earned his first All-Star ‘A’ team place in 1932-33 with the Charlottetown Islanders. He attended Boston Bruins’ NHL training camp in 1934 before deciding to cross the Atlantic.
Joseph Bernard Beaton was born on 18 June 1910 in Stellarton, Nova Scotia, Canada and died in Stanmore, Middlesex, England on 26 October 1965. A member of the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame, he was inducted into the British Hall of Fame in 1950.