Budd, Brian (1952-2008)

Brian Budd, a 1975 UBC Physical Education (Kinesiology) graduate, has a most amazing story. Born in Toronto but growing up in Delta, Brian was an all-around athlete entering UBC in 1970. In his first two years at UBC Budd swam for the Thunderbird swim team under coach Jack Pomfret. In his second year he focused on soccer and for four years played on the Thunderbird soccer team. In fact in 1974, Budd scored the winning goal in the CIS final game giving UBC the national soccer championship.

Budd pursued a career in soccer following his graduation from UBC, playing for seven professional teams between 1974 and 1981 including five seasons with the Vancouver Whitecaps in addition to two years with Canada’s national team.

It was in 1977 Budd entered and won his first of three consecutive Canadian “Superstars” competitions. This was a competition involving the country’s best athletes in sporting events other than those of their profession or specialty. Winning three straight earned Budd a spot in the “World Superstars” competition which during the 1970s and 1980s was a popular ABC television production.

Budd continued to win, impressively, besting outstanding pro and amateur athletes from the US and around the world. It was after the third consecutive victory by this “unknown” Canadian that ABC TV Sports implemented a rule stating a competitor could win only three times. This was referred to as the “Budd Rule” eliminating him from further “World Superstars” competition. Budd felt ABC wanted him removed from the show because he was not well known to the American TV audience.

To a degree Budd faded from the scene after his brush with fame although he did serve as a soccer analyst in Toronto during the 2000’s until his sudden passing in 2008 at age 56. But for a time during the early 1980s UBC and Kinesiology could lay claim to the “world’s greatest athlete.”

Written by Fred Hume, UBC Historian