Memorable Manitobans: William Wright “Billy” Breen (1882-1927)
Born in Winnipeg on 6 December 1882, brother of Nixon John Breen and Thomas George Breen, he played hockey for several Winnipeg clubs, including the Winnipeg Assiniboines. A centre, he was noted as a checker as well as a goal scorer. He also was an alley bowler of distinction. He played professionally in the Manitoba Hockey League in 1907-1908 and 1908-1909. He applied for reinstatement as an amateur in 1911-1912 but was refused. He worked for Robert Jones Whitla and later the Codville Company before joining his brother Thomas in the Breen Motor Company. He was a member of the Carleton Club, Elmhurst Golf and Country Club, and St. Charles Country Club. He died following an operation at Rochester, Minnesota on 3 September 1927. He was inducted posthumously into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame (2019).
Brother-in-law of James Albert Davidson.
1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
“Billy Breen, athlete business man, is dead” Undated newspaper clipping. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B8]
Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.
We thank Iain Fyffe and Nathan Kramer for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 27 December 2021