Born in Joliet, Illinois, an orphaned Walter Robertson was raised by his grandmother in Scotland, where he developed his love of running. Upon moving to Winnipeg Robertson continued his love of sports as he embarked on a long and remarkable career as a trainer of track & field athletes, hockey teams and jockeys. It began with the North End Amateur Athletic Club where he trained future Hall-of-Famers Laurie Cohen (1989) and Ken Aseltine (2004) and future Olympians and Hall-of-Famers Joe Keeper (1984), Jimmy Ball (1980), and Cyril Coaffee (1982). He also trained another fair sprinter in Percy Williams, star of the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam. Robertson was also involved with the Winnipeg Rugby Football club.
Walter Robertson’s record as a trainer in hockey is marked by championship success. It began with an Allan Cup in 1915 with the Winnipeg Monarchs. He trained another Allan Cup winner in 1928 when the University of Manitoba Varsity turned the trick. Robertson also served as trainer for two Memorial Cup champions (1923 – University of Manitoba Juniors & 1931 Elmwood Millionaires). He was also trainer for the 1932 Olympic Gold medallist Winnipegs (inducted in 1987) in Lake Placid. Robertson found a home with the Cleveland Barons of the American Hockey League from 1936-51. The Barons won the Calder Cup (emblematic of AHL supremacy) an impressive seven times during Robertson’s tenure as trainer. He then turned to the world of horse racing and trained jockeys at River Downs for another decade before retiring in 1961.
b. June 7, 1886
d. February 4, 1968