‘Makes me so proud:’ Man who survived childhood cancer serves with father on Milwaukee Wave staff 

Larry Sayles

MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Wave soccer team offers family-friendly entertainment -- this season, with a lot of wins as well -- and there's one family that really makes the team succeed.

Larry Sayles is the Wave's director of soccer operations. His son Brian is the team's equipment manager.

"They're diehard. They'd do anything for you. Sometimes you're like, 'We can help out,' but they'll do everything for you so you can get ready to focus on the game," said Ian Bennett, forward.

Brian Sayles

"Larry Sayles is our ticker. He's the guy who makes everything go where it's supposed to, when it's supposed to, and how it's supposed to. Brian, on the other hand, he makes us look all pretty and beautiful without anybody knowing," said Josh Limos, goalkeeper.

Larry Sayles started with the organization when the organization itself started 35 years ago. He was the athletic trainer and is in the Wisconsin Athletic Trainers Hall of Fame. His greatest honor, though, is working with his son.

"On those tough days, I can still look at him and I can smile and thank the Lord that he's with us. There's a lot of kids that had his cancer that are not with us anymore, so we're really blessed to have him in our life," said Larry Sayles.

Larry Sayles

Brian Sayles had a brain tumor when he was 4 years old and has some cognitive and physical challenges, but he carries plenty of responsibility in his job, and relishes it.

"I know the guys. The guys have been with me. I know who needs stuff and who doesn't need stuff," said Brian Sayles.

"He has his way of doing things and it just makes me so proud every day to see him do his thing," said Larry Sayles.

"Obviously, he's got things that he's dealing with and it's cool for us to be able to help him and give him this opportunity to be around the team and do something and be a part of something he loves, said Drew Ruggles, defender.

Brian Sayles

Brian Sayles

"I like what I do," said Brian Sayles.

Nobody likes the arrangement more than Larry Sayles.

"When we do win that championship this year, we're going to be right together, hugging. He's my best friend, he's my son, and he is my co-worker, but he's my best friend and son first," said Larry Sayles.

Brian Sayles' mother used to take him to Wave games when he was an infant, and three decades later, they'll be in the arena together when the team plays next on April 14.

Larry and Brian Sayles

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