When my buddy Tom told me his wife had been a cheerleader for the Portland Timbers, I initially scoffed. I had never heard of the team even having a cheer squad–what soccer team does? I couldn’t find a single reference online to there ever being a squad. Nobody I asked had ever heard of it. I thought it must have been a misunderstanding.
Then he brought in the uniform.
The team indeed did have a cheer squad…for one season. The 1981 Portland Timbers were in their seventh year in the NASL as part of the Northwest Division. To add a bit of pizzazz and entertainment to the match, a group of local young women were recruited to accompany Timber Jim as the Timber Jills dance squad.
When I heard about all of this, I of course had to hear more. So one night last fall, as we were on the eve of clutching our first MLS Cup Championship, Tom and I recorded a conversation with two of the members of the squad, Brenda Becker and Judy Bennett, to hear about this mostly forgotten part of Timbers history.
In addition to their story, there are clips of some old school stickers, programs, and of course…the uniform.