Inventor of the Fox 40 whistle
Born: 1947 in Hamilton, Ontario
As a professional basketball referee, Ron Foxcroft was often frustrated by whistles. The cork "pea", which made the noise, would jam and no sound would come out. While working a pre-Olympic basketball game in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1984, Foxcroft blew his whistle when a Brazilian player was fouled at centre court. The whistle jammed, play continued, and a riot erupted. He said later, "I remember lying there on the floor and promising myself that if I lived through this riot, I would go back to Canada and design a pea-less whistle."
Despite the fact that no bank would support him, Foxcroft made good on his promise by 1987. He, his sons, and Oakville design consultant Chuck Shephard developed a new whistle with no moving parts. The Fox 40 features harmonically tuned air chambers and can be heard over a mile away. It is used by the NHL, NBA, NFL, CFL, NCAA, FIFA, and FINA, as well as the US Coast Guard, Royal Life Saving Society of Canada, American Red Cross, NATO forces, and many more organizations. The Fox 40 is sold in over 100 countries.
Ron Foxcroft lives in Burlington, Ontario and runs Fox 40 International Inc. with his sons, Steve and Dave. He was inducted into the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999.
Ron Foxcroft is the first and only Canadian basketball referee in the NCAA.
He is also the president of the Fluke Transportation Group which uses the slogan, "If it arrives on time... it's a Fluke."
More information on:
Conacher, Duff. More Canada Firsts. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart Inc., 1999.
Added 21 April 2002.