The Vancouver Stealth have announced the retirement of veteran forward Lewis Ratcliff. As one of the most accomplished players in league history, Ratcliff played in the National Lacrosse League for 14 seasons and finishes his legendary career with 1,040 points including 472 goals and 568 assists in 212 combined NLL regular season and playoff games.
“Lewis has accomplished so much in his great career and it has been an absolute pleasure to have him as a member of our organization over the past six seasons,” said Stealth president and general manager Doug Locker. “He gave our fans a lot of exciting memories and was instrumental in our 2010 NLL Championship. There is no doubt in my mind that Lewis will be a Hall of Famer in the not too distant future.”
Ratcliff, 33, joined the Stealth organization in 2010 after spending time with the Toronto Rock and Calgary Roughnecks, where he won his first NLL Champion’s Cup as a member of the Roughnecks in 2004. His 46 goals in 2010 with the Stealth led the league and he finished second with 97 points in the regular season.
Ratcliff is in the Stealth record books in numerous categories including top 10 all-time regular season goals (183), assists (220) and points (402) along with being ranked top 10 in all-time playoff goals (17), assists (25), points (42) and games played (9). He was voted Champion’s Cup MVP in 2010 after scoring five goals with one assist in the Finals, helping the Stealth defeat Toronto 15-11 and win their first Champion’s Cup.
“Retiring was a tough decision, but the right thing given my increasingly busy schedule as an owner and leader in two companies,” said Ratcliff. “I’ve always tried to conduct myself in a positive manner that would honor my family, my team, my organization, and fans. I thank them all for their support. I’d like to thank Denise Watkins, Doug Locker and David Takata for everything they have done over the past six years. Some of my best lacrosse memories took place with them and I am grateful for all they have done.”
“I wish the team well the rest of the season,” he continued. “It is a great group of guys and I’ll miss them deeply. I have enjoyed every minute playing in the NLL and will remain a lifelong supporter of the league’s growth.”
The Victoria, BC native ranks sixth in NLL all-time career goals (440), 10th in all-time career assists (520), eighth in all-time career points (959) and fourth in consecutive games played (196). He reached the historic 50-goal plateau once in his career, recording a career-high 104 points (50+54) in 2007. The four-time NLL All-Pro was a fourth-round selection (49th overall) by the Calgary Roughnecks in the 2001 NLL Draft.
Ratcliff is the General Manager and Director of Operations for the Seattle Starz and founder of Monarch Lacrosse.
“In addition to everything he has done on the floor, Lewis has been a guiding force in the development of the Stealth Lacrosse Academy and our Junior Stealth program in Washington State,” added Locker. “We are happy that he will be continuing in that role for us moving forward.”