Rick O’Brien was a good friend to amateur sports in Langley, and his support will be missed greatly, said friend Dana Matheson.
Matheson, a Langley businessman who’s involved in the management of both the Langley Rams football team and the Langley Rivermen’s hockey team, described O’Brien’s untimely death last Friday, Sept. 22 as a real blow to the country and to local sports.
O’Brien was a 51-year-old Willoughby father of six, who worked for the past seven years as a Ridge Meadows RCMP constable.
He was gunned down just over a week ago, when members of the Ridge Meadows RCMP executed a search warrant on a Coquitlam residence. O’Brien was declared dead at the scene. Two other officers were taken to hospital and later released, one suffering from a gunshot wound, the other from a non-firearm injury. The suspect was also shot, and taken to hospital.
The tragic death of O’Brien will be marked this afternoon (Saturday, Sept. 30) with a presentation and moment of silence ahead of the Rams’ home game against the Valley Huskers. The game gets underway at McLeod Athletic Park at 4 p.m., but Matheson said they’re squeezing in the tribute ahead of play.
“The Langley Rams organization was devastated with the sudden passing of Const. Rick O’Brien last Friday,” Matheson shared, noting how O’Brien’s wife, Nicole, serves as a board member for the club and how Rick could always be counted on to be a constant cheerleader and supporter.
“Rick was a huge football fan, and a fan of sports in general,” said Matheson, who described O’Brien as “giving” and “loving,” but noted he had the right mix of sarcastic humour, too.
“He will be deeply missed by all those who knew him, and mourned by Canadians across the country,” added Matheson.
He recounted one instance where O’Brien turned out in full RCMP red serge to help the hosting Langley Rams presented the 2019 Canadian Bowl trophy to the visiting Saskatoon Hilltops on behalf of the CJFL.
“We send our deepest condolences to Const. O’Brien’s family – Nicole and the kids, to the Maple Ridge and Coquitlam RCMP, and to all RCMP members for their loss… You are a true hero Rick, and the Rams family will never forget you.”
During the game, the Rams will once again hold a 50/50 draw, and all the money from that will be going to O’Brien’s wife, Nicole, and their children.
Similarly, a tribute was made to O’Brien last Saturday, during the second home game of the season for the Langley Rivermen’s Junior A ice hockey team.
Matheson noted that O’Brien had actually made plans to attend the Rivermen’s season opener on Friday night, the same day as his passing.