Canada Soccer

Connaught Series: North Shore XI win national laurels in 1938

Posted on 30 July 2017 in Around the Soccer World

North Shore United FC were two-time Dominion of Canada Football Association champions, a dynasty interrupted by the Second World War. Champions in 1938 and 1949, they were the dominant British Columbia team of the 1940s when the national competition was on hiatus during the war years.

From 1941 to 1949, the North Vancouver club won six titles in nine years, three of which came in the six years when the national competition was suspended and a fourth in 1946 before British Columbia teams returned to the inter-provincial playdowns for the Challenge Trophy.

National runners up in 1932 and provincial winners in 1932-33, North Shore United FC established themselves as a powerhouse team in the late 1930s. After winning their second Province Cup in 1936-37, they reinforced their lineup before the following season by adding three national winners from the disbanded Vancouver Johnston National Storage side: Trevor Harvey, Swede Larson, and Reg Liptrot. 

After smashing the Calgary Callies in the first round, they had to come from behind to eliminate teams from Winnipeg and Timmins in the last two rounds. It took five games in that 1938 Dominion final, but North Shore United FC eventually beat Timmins Dome Mines for the Championship title. They played 11 matches and scored a
tournament-record 43 goals, including an 11:1 destruction of Calgary Callies in the opening round.

The top two scorers of the 1938 Connaught Series were both in North Shore colours: Jimmy Spencer with 14 goals in 10 matches (one less than Jock Coulter’s 1928 record) and Mike McManus with 13 goals in 10 matches.

Timmins nearly had North Shore in the Dominion final, but the North Vancouver team won the third match to extend the series. Centre half Trevor Harvey was the star of that match, shutting down goalscoring wizard George Chambers from the Timmins attack.

Harvey, still only 21, was the hero of the Dominion final. In leading North Shore to victory, he completed a unique hat trick by winning three successive titles with three different teams from 1936 to 1938 (Westminster, Vancouver, North Shore).

North Shore United FC won the 1938 Dominion of Canada Football Championship after 11 matches, with the best-of-three final lasting five matches before the champions were crowned. The team from North Vancouver eliminated Calgary Callies and Winnipeg United Weston FC before beating Timmins Dome Mines in the Dominion final.

Jimmy Spencer and Mike McManus were the two consistent scorers throughout the playdowns, combining for 27 of North Shore’s record 43 goals.

In the final, North Shore and Timmins drew before the Northern Ontario team took the series lead with a 3:1 win in the second match. North Shore came right back to win the third match, with centre half Trevor Harvey shutting down striker George Chambers.

Spencer missed the fifth and final match through injury, but teammate Swede Larson was back from his own injury and scored two goals. Hero Harvey also scored from the penalty spot in the 6:2 win.

North Shore’s “curly-haired” centre forward Mike McManus scored the series-winning goal of the 1938 Championship, giving his side a 3-0 lead in the fifth and final game. McManus added another goal late in what turned out to be a 6:2 victory.

North Shore’s 23-year old inside left Jimmy Spencer led the 1938 Championship with 14 goals in 10 matches. Teammate Mike McManus ranked second (13) while Winnipeg’s Doug McMahon ranked third (10).

Sam Davidson, secretary to the Dominion of Canada Football Association, made the presentation of the Championship trophy to winning captain Bob Harrison. Wrote Vince Leah in the Winnipeg Tribune, it was made at “the centre of the grandstand as the crowd gave North Shore a rousing ovation.”

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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