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Connaught Series: St. Boniface were Canada's first ever champions

Posted on 18 June 2017 in Around the Soccer World

Double champions Norwood Wanderers of St. Boniface More

Connaught Series: Montréal Grand Trunk FC win first title after Great War

Posted on 11 June 2017 in Around the Soccer World

Alec Smith and Artie Woutersz honoured by Canada Soccer Hall of Fame More

Connaught Series: Winnipeg’s double champions United Weston FC

Posted on 4 June 2017 in Around the Soccer World

Eddie Derby and Bill Matthews honoured by Canada Soccer Hall of Fame More

Canadian Content features in 2017 UEFA Women’s Champions League Final

Posted on 1 June 2017 in Around the Soccer World

Canada’s Women’s National Team player Kadeisha Buchanan has become the first Canadian soccer player to lift the Champions League trophy More

Connaught Series: top scorers remembered from 24 national championships

Posted on 28 May 2017 in Around the Soccer World

Jock Coulter was Top Scorer in Connaught Series three times More

Connaught Series: picking playoff heroes for 24 national championships

Posted on 21 May 2017 in Around the Soccer World

Most valuable players More

Fred Jopson, Canada Soccer Life Member, passes away

Posted on 15 April 2017 in Around the Soccer World

Jopson was both a BC Soccer and Canada Soccer Life Member More

Bill Thomson, Life Member, passes away

Posted on 10 March 2017 in Around the Soccer World

Soccer Hall of Fame honoured member More

Dino Soupliotis, FIFA referee, passes away

Posted on 29 January 2017 in Around the Soccer World

Dino Souplioti, 1933 to 2017 More

John Buchanan, coach & manager, passes away

Posted on 26 January 2017 in Around the Soccer World

Honoured member of the Soccer Hall of Fame More

Toronto fans mark memorable season at MLS Cup

Posted on 11 December 2016 in Around the Soccer World

A BMO Field record 36,045 fans More

Canada ready for historic 2016 MLS Cup in Toronto

Posted on 8 December 2016 in Around the Soccer World

10 December 2016 Toronto FC v Seattle Sounders FC More

Toronto FC wins 2016 MLS Eastern Conference final

Posted on 1 December 2016 in Around the Soccer World

MLS Cup at BMO Field on 10 December More

Toronto FC fans celebrate big victory

Posted on 1 December 2016 in Around the Soccer World

Toronto celebrates More

Impact take 3-2 lead in Montréal-Toronto playoff rivalry series

Posted on 23 November 2016 in Around the Soccer World

Impact Montréal FC 3:2 Toronto FC Seattle Sounders 2:1 Colorado Rapids More

Soccer matches continue to draw record crowds across Canada

Posted on 23 November 2016 in Around the Soccer World

Record crowd of 61,004 fans More

Impact expect record crowd for Montréal-Toronto playoff match

Posted on 21 November 2016 in Around the Soccer World

More than 60,000 fans are expected More

University of Alberta wins Sam Davidson Memorial Trophy

Posted on 14 November 2016 in Around the Soccer World

Alberta 1:0 UQAM More

Laval wins Gladys Bean Memorial Trophy

Posted on 14 November 2016 in Around the Soccer World

Laval 2:1 UBC More

CS Mont-Royal Outremont wins annual Ontario-Québec final

Posted on 13 November 2016 in Around the Soccer World

CS Mont-Royal Outremont 3:2 Vaughan SC More

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The City of St. Boniface, some 50 years before it was amalgamated as part of the City of Winnipeg, were Canada Soccer's first national champions. Not once, but twice in a row the Norwood Wanderers of St. Boniface lifted the Connaught Cup emblematic of the Dominion of Canada Football Association's champions.

They won the first championship in 1913 in Fort William (today known as Thunder Bay) and then repeated as champions much closer to home in 1914 in Winnipeg.

In 1913, the city council of St. Boniface wrote, "you have worthily upheld the traditions of clean British sportsmanship and have won a great and most coveted position in the annals of Canadian sport. On behalf of the city council and citizens in general, I am glad and happy to say that we assisted financially in helping along the good work and I wish therefore to thank you for the splendid way in which you have the justified our assistance and have also brought before the people of this Dominion the name of this our great city of St. Boniface."

CANADIAN CHAMPIONSHIP: Toronto FC face Impact Montréal FC in the 2017 Canadian Championship final. Watch both matches on TSN and RDS, with the first leg on 21 June and the second leg on 27 June.

In both 1913 and 1914, the Dominion of Canada Football Championship was a round-robin affair, with St. Boniface winning the title on the last day each year. Undefeated in both years, the Norwood Wanderers won their two titles by the slimmest of margins: in 1913 by a single point after three matches and in 1914 through goal average after four matches.

As noted in the Manitoba Free Press after their second championship, "pandemonium was let loose on the way. No one could escape the knowledge that Norwood Wanderers of St. Boniface had won the Connaught Cup for it was spelled out, shouted and sung from every throat in all the cars and the noise was increased by several dozen horns which the boys blew till their heads ached."

STORY OF THE 1913 CHAMPIONSHIP
The first Dominion of Canada Championship came down to the last day, with a 2:2 draw tipping the standings in favour of St. Boniface over the hosts from Fort William. After five days of football, Toronto Old Country and Lachine were out, which meant the Norwood Wanderers FC of St. Boniface (three points) and Fort William CPR (two points) were left to fight it out. A victory by either side would ensure first place, but St. Boniface could also finish first with a draw.

Fort William opened the scoring in the first half, but St. Boniface both equalised and took the lead in the second half. Centre forward Simmonds scored both goals to give the Manitoba champions the lead before Fort William’s Jerry Dean equalised. The draw, however, was enough to clinch first place and the Connaught Cup. Centre half Billy Innes was noted as St. Boniface’s hero of the match.

CHAMPIONSHIP WINNING GOAL • SIMMONDS
The Norwood Wanderers’ Simmonds scored the series-winning goal in the last match of the 1913 Championship. With the club needing a draw or better in their final match, Simmonds delivered a two-goal performance to clinch the title.

CHAMPIONSHIP WINNING GOAL • SIMMONDS
St. Boniface’s centre forward Simmonds scored five goals in three round-robin matches during the 1913 Championship. Fort William’s outside right Jerry Dean finished second with three goals scored.

CONNAUGHT CUP • CAPTAIN ALEX SIMPSON
After the final match, the Connaught Cup was handed to Alex Simpson, the captain of the Norwood Wanderers team, by Tom Watson, the new president of the Dominion of Canada Football Association. While the winning players received “Champions of Canada” medals, the 22 players from the runners up Fort William and Lachine received lockets donated by outgoing DCFA president Fred Barter. As noted in the Manitoba Free Press, the Norwood Wanderers “received congratulatory messages from Mayors Deacon and Berry.”

NORWOOD WANDERERS WELCOMED HOME AS HEROES
The Norwood Wanderers were the first champions and “accorded (a) great reception” after winning the Connaught Cup. Upon returning home from Fort William, the team was met at the train station by the mayor and civic council of St. Boniface.

STORY OF THE 1914 CHAMPIONSHIP
Norwood Wanderers FC of St. Boniface captured their second consecutive Dominion of Canada Football Championship by finishing at the top of the 1914 Connaught Cup standings. It all came down to the final day and it all ended with the same outcome: St. Boniface captured the silverware.

For its second year, the Connaught Series expanded from six to 10 matches with the addition of the Saskatchewan winners from Regina. After four days, Regina and Lachine were out, leaving Toronto Eaton’s, Fort William CPR, and St. Boniface in a three-way fight on the final Saturday.

In the first match, Fort William beat Toronto to reach six points, leaving only St. Boniface with a chance to catch them. In the deciding game, St. Boniface needed to win and they needed to maintain a superior goal average across their four matches - which they did with a 1:0 win over Lachine (with Nicholson the goalscorer).

Walter Simpson was the hero with three clean sheets in four matches.

ST. BONIFACE WINS CHAMPIONSHIP ON GOAL AVERAGE
Fort William CPR scored more goals (eight) and finished with a greater goal difference (+5), but Norwood Wanderers had a better goal average. St. Boniface scored four goals and conceded once; Fort Williams scored eight, but conceded three.

CONNAUGHT CUP • CAPTAIN HARRY McMASTER
St. Boniface enjoyed the support of the home crowd throughout the 1914 Championship, with all matches played in neighbouring Winnipeg. The defending champions did not disappoint, with captain Harry McMaster collecting the Cup on the final day. As noted in the Manitoba Free Press, the St. Boniface winners were celebrated with “an automobile procession around the two cities of Winnipeg and St. Boniface. About ten cars carrying the players of the team and about 75 friends went down to York avenue, back to Portage and west as far as Free Press corner,  cast again to Main Street, and south almost to the CPR, and then south to Norwood and back through St. Boniface to the city hall.”


In celebration of our nation's 150th anniversary, the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame pays tribute to the early years of our Championship: the Connaught Series from 1913 to 1939. Every Sunday from May through September, Canada Soccer remembers the players, legends, teams, and champions from a golden era of football in the Dominion.

‎In Canada's 150th year, Canada Soccer will crown their 150th national champions across all adult and professional competitions since 1913. The 2017 competitive season will crown the Futsal Canadian Championship winners in April, the professional Canadian Championship winners in June, and the amateur National Championships women's Jubilee Trophy and men's Challenge Trophy winners in October.

 

 

 

After losing in the 1915 semi-finals, Montréal Grand Trunk FC waited four years to get another shot at the Dominion of Canada Football Championship. While the city and provincial competitions continued, there was no national competition for three years as the Great War suspended the Connaught Series until 1919. When the competition resumed after the War, things fell in place for the railway team as they both hosted and won the Championship.

In both rounds of the 1919 Connaught Series, the three matches in Montréal boasted record crowds of 4,000-6,000 fans per match. As noted in the Gazette, "long before the scheduled time of the commencement of play, the stands at the Westmount grounds were filled and the crowd was making an effort to rush the bleacher gates, bringing back memories of the palmy days of sport in Montréal, when just such a crowd was filling the stand to witness a lacrosse or rugby game. Those crowds have passed to the soccer game and at the present time there is no other branch of sport that will attract the gathering that a soccer match will."

CLASS of 2017 in TORONTO : In Canada’s 150th year, Canada Soccer celebrates its past with the launch of the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame. As part of a Women’s National Team home international match in Toronto on 11 June, former captain Amy Walsh will be inducted as an honoured member of the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame.

Over two rounds in 1919, four different Montréal players scored two goals each: centre forward Davie Adamson (who after an injury was replaced by Bill Worsley), inside right Jimmy McLeish, inside left Eddie Stott, and outside right Artie Woutersz.

Outside left Alec Smith was the hero of the Dominion final, involved in the play that led to the McLeish series winner in the opening leg and then assisting on the Stott insurance goal in the second leg.

 

STORY OF THE 1919 CHAMPIONSHIP
After a three-year hiatus, the Connaught Series resumed in 1919 with the familiar four-team format. This time, Montréal Grand Trunk FC were equally the hosts and winners of the Dominion of Canada Football Championship.

After eliminating Toronto Old Country in a home-and-away series in the semi-finals, Montréal won the final 3-1 over the visiting Winnipeg War Veterans. Outside left Alec Smith was the hero of the two-match Dominion final. In the second match of the final, he assisted on Eddie Stott’s winning goal at Westmount Park.

As noted in the Montréal Gazette, “there was some inspiration in the big crowd. It seemed that as many as four of every five men of military age wore the disharged soldier’s button.

“The big crowd overflowed the field and sat and stood several rows deep along the line back of the eastern goal and along the south side of the field, but the gathering was well behaved and orderly, leaving little to do for the few policemen inside the grounds.”

CHAMPIONSHIP WINNING GOAL • JIMMY McLEISH
Montréal won the two-match Dominion final 3-1, with Jimmy McLeish scoring the series winner in the opening match. After goalkeeper Walter Simpson stopped an Alec Smith chance, McLeish capitalised on the clearance for the 2-1 series lead.

CONNAUGHT CUP • CAPTAIN JIMMY McLAGGAN
Montréal right back Jimmy McLaggan served as captain of the Championship-winning Grand Trunk FC. After the win at home, “there was a wild rush of spectators to the field and the Grand Trunk players were lifted shoulder high and carried from the grounds by their supporters. The (Winnipeg) Veterans were not forgotten and were congratulated for the splendid defence that they had made against the more speedy Grand Trunks, especially after their long trip from the west. The Veterans took their defeat in a sportsmanlike manner and were the first to crowd the dressing room of the champions to offer their congratulations.”


In celebration of our nation's 150th anniversary, the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame pays tribute to the early years of our Championship: the Connaught Series from 1913 to 1939. Every Sunday from May through September, Canada Soccer remembers the players, legends, teams, and champions from a golden era of football in the Dominion.

‎In Canada's 150th year, Canada Soccer will crown their 150th national champions across all adult and professional competitions since 1913. The 2017 competitive season will crown the Futsal Canadian Championship winners in April, the professional Canadian Championship winners in June, and the amateur National Championships women's Jubilee Trophy and men's Challenge Trophy winners in October.

 

 

 

The Winnipeg United Weston FC team from 1924-26 were arguably the greatest playoff team in the history of the Dominion of Canada Football Championship. Winners in 1924 and 1926, they won seven of eight playoff series in a three-year stretch with 11 wins, six draws, and just one loss across 18 matches. Their only loss – in the dying minutes of the 1925 semi-final – came moments after they were reduced to 10 men through injury.

Those were the days of no substitutions. Champions and “90-minute” men like “Big” Bill Matthews, Eddie Derby, Jock McNeil, and brothers Art and Dan King were the backbone of that United Weston team. The City of Winnipeg rightfully celebrated them as heroes and cherished their accomplishments for decades to come. The team has been honoured by the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame while stars Matthews and Derby have both been inducted as honoured members of the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame.

TRIBUTE TO WINNIPEG: In Canada’s 150th year, Canada Soccer celebrates its past with the launch of the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame. As part of a Women’s National Team home international match in Winnipeg on 8 June, Canada Soccer will salute the late Matthews and Derby, heroes of the 1924 and 1926 championships. Matthews’ son, Bill Matthews, Jr., will be in attendance alongside his wife, daughter, and son-in-law. 

The Connaught Series was Canada's national competition from 1913 to 1939, crowning 16 different winners over the course of 24 championships. Winnipeg United Weston reached the inter-provincial playdowns as Manitoba’s representatives 10 times from 1922 to 1938, winning it all in 1924 and 1926 and finishing as runners up in 1929 and 1936.

STORY OF THE 1924 CHAMPIONSHIP
Winnipeg United Weston FC returned the Connaught Cup to Winnipeg for the first time in nine years when the won the 1924 Dominion of Canada Football Championship at Carruthers Park. The Winnipeg team won the two-match, total goals series 3-2 over the Canadian Explosives of Beloeil. Along the way, Winnipeg also beat Moose Jaw CPR in the quarter-finals and Cumberland FC in the semi-finals.

The big moment came near the end of the first match when Alex Slidders scored the go-ahead goal with just a few minutes remaining. It turned out to be the last goal of the series, with the second match ending in a scoreless draw. The 21-year old centre half Bill Matthews was the hero of the Dominion final while 22-year old goalkeeper Eddie Derby posted his fourth clean sheet of the playdowns.

CHAMPIONSHIP WINNING GOAL • ALEX SLIDDERS
Winnipeg United Weston FC won the two-match, total goals series, with all five goals between the two teams scored in the opening match. Slidders scored the equaliser before the hour mark and then the winner just two minutes from full time.

TOP SCORER • ALEX SLIDDERS
Winnipeg’s 27-year old “hefty and bustling” centre forward Alex Slidders scored five goals and one assist in four matches. Opponent Jack Renfrew of Beloeil scored five goals in six matches.

CONNAUGHT CUP • CAPTAIN ART KING
After the final match, Dominion of Canada Football Association President John Easton presented the Connaught Cup to Art King, captain of Winnipeg United Weston FC. More than 6,000 fans were on hand for the final match, as “standing capacity was taxed to the limit.”


STORY OF THE 1926 CHAMPIONSHIP
Winnipeg United Weston FC won their second Dominion of Canada Championship in just three years when they defeated the Cumberland Canadian Collieries on a last-minute goal. After three draws, Winnipeg won the unprecedented fourth match of the final round, with goalkeeper and hero Eddie Derby putting in “one of the most brilliant games of his career.” Outside right Johnny Lang scored the 89th-minute winner.

From three years and 18 inter-provincial matches (1924 to 1926),

Winnipeg lost only once in the 1925 semi-finals. In the 1926 Connaught Series, they eliminated Fort William Veterans and Toronto Willys-Overland before taking on Cumberland in the final round.

CHAMPIONSHIP WINNING GOAL • JOHNNY LANG
Winnipeg’s inside left Johnny Lang scored the series-winning goal in the fourth and final match of the 1926 Championship final. Into the dying minutes, Lang collected a loose ball and scored the lone goal of the 1:0 victory at Carruthers Park.

TOP SCORER • DUNCAN WATSON
Winnipeg centre forward Duncan Watson scored nine goals in eight matches during the 1926 Championship. Cumberland centre forward Milton “Tuffy” Davies ranked second with five goals.

CHALLENGE TROPHY • CAPTAIN DAN KING
After the final match, the magnificent Challenge Trophy was presented to Winnipeg captain Dan King by H.W. Scrymgeour, the Manitoba council member of the Dominion of Canada Football Association. This marked the first year that the newly-struck Challenge Trophy was presented to the winners.


In celebration of our nation's 150th anniversary, the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame pays tribute to the early years of our Championship: the Connaught Series from 1913 to 1939. Every Sunday from May through September, Canada Soccer remembers the players, legends, teams, and champions from a golden era of football in the Dominion.

‎In Canada's 150th year, Canada Soccer will crown their 150th national champions across all adult and professional competitions since 1913. The 2017 competitive season will crown the Futsal Canadian Championship winners in April, the professional Canadian Championship winners in June, and the amateur National Championships women's Jubilee Trophy and men's Challenge Trophy winners in October.

 

 

 

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