Hartmut Bless (aka “General Timber Howie”) was a longtime Portland Timbers fan and founding member of the Timbers Army. He was born in Germany and raised in Canada, but moved to Portland after meeting Timbers fans at the 1975 Soccer Bowl. 

After 2001, he became one of the Timbers Army’s unofficial greeters when out-of-towners arrived in Portland for Timbers matches. He spread word of Portland, the Timbers and Timbers Army as he traveled throughout the US, Canada and Europe, following the team and making friends everywhere. Hartmut died in May, 2009 never getting to see his beloved Timbers play in the MLS.

In life, Hartmut exemplified what it meant to be part of a community and to bring people together over a shared love. OPI can think of no better tribute than to imbue this field in his name. OPI hopes Bless Field becomes a place where generations of New Columbia kids come together. We look forward watching a future Timbers or Thorns game to see a kid who played kick-around on Bless Field score a legendary game-winning goal. We know Howie will be watching too.