PWHL purple

Hockey super fan dresses up to convince Crayola to name a colour after the PWHL

Debbie Harrison, a 64-year-old self-described superfan of the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL), treks almost two-and-a-half hours from Lindsay, Ont. to the Mattamy Athletic Centre in downtown Toronto for every PWHL game.

Two months ago, when Harrison’s blue PWHL Toronto jersey didn’t arrive in time for a game, the retired instrumental music teacher got creative and made her own fan gear—a purple crayon costume. She stood up in her custom attire seat and held a sign that read “Crayola needs a new colour: PWHL purple”.

Her creativity paid off, on Tuesday, Crayola Canada responded by featuring an “unofficial” new colour for the day:

“The Professional Women’s Hockey League called our name, and we’re ready to lace up our skates! Introducing Powerplay Plum, our “unofficial” new Crayola Purple Crayon for the day,” the company wrote in an Instagram post. “Dedicated to the new era of trailblazers who are driven to conquer the ice with speed and skill to elevate the game. Thanks, @thepwhlofficial and Debbie Harrison for allowing us to tag along on your colourful journey!”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Crayola Canada (@crayola_canada)

While the company won’t officially make the crayon due to the extensive amount of research, development, and financial analysis involved in the process, the story went viral, and has been shared by PWHL board member (and tennis icon) Billie Jean King.

As for Harrison, she now makes custom outfits for every game. She told the Toronto Star that she spends about 20 hours prepping the outfit for every game and makes frequent visits to Fabricland and Value Village.

Still, the attention around the story surprises her.

She told the Star: “If I ever thought I would hear ‘Debbie’ and ‘all over social media’ in the same sentence in my lifetime, I would have said, ‘Absolutely not’”.