A GENERAL HISTORY OF SOCCER IN PRINCE GEORGE
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A Brief History of Senior Soccer in Prince George : from an article by Shafeed Rahman.(1999) – (with updates, photos and early history by Terry Carter and the PG Library Newspaper Archives.)
Like many communities throughout British Columbia, Prince George’s sports heritage owes much to the immigrants who brought their passion for home grown games to a new land and a look at the rich history of soccer in Prince George proves this. The game of soccer in PG can be traced as far back as the first World War, but neither time nor resources were available to do justice to the early years of soccer here.
I am indebted to two PG soccer legends, Hans Niedermayer and Jim Briggs who gave some interesting accounts of soccer over the last four decades, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Gratitude also to Gaetano Mauro and Nick Rukavina for their assistance, and I regret that I wasn’t able to interview John DaSilva and others who played a tremendous role in the development of soccer in Prince George. Shafeed Rahman
The PG Library Archives provided the links to the newspapers below:
Fort George Herald, Fort George Tribune, Prince George Citizen,
Prince George Herald, Prince George Post, Prince George Star,
1912 – 1920 In the beginning
The earliest record I have found for organized soccer in the Prince George area is from May 1912 with an announcement in the Fort George Herald of the Dominion Day Athletic Festivities that included Baseball, Assoc. Football and other field sports. (tc)
Football team after a record
New Organization Promises to Make Popular the Strenuous Game
The Battle for The Montgomery Shield -1913
The Photo on the left of the Fort George Nechaco team was found by Noreen Rustad in an old box of photo,s. She in turn passed it on to Lino and Kathy Nadelin . Kathy and Lino in turn passed it on to me to see if I could find anything about it. Mr Montgomery was a Barrister and also operated a jewellers store in the townsite. He donated both the Shield and medals for the winners in 1913. (tc)
Sunday October 19th 1913 Fort George Nechaco defeated South Fort George 3-1
Sunday October 26th 1913 Fort George Nechaco defeats South Fort George 1-0 in the last of a 4 game series 2 wins, 1 loss and 1 tie.to take the Montgomery Shield
Report from the Fort George Herald Saturday November 1st 1913.
“The Montgomery Shield, coveted trophy for football players, was won last Sunday by the Fort George team by a score of 1-0. Throughout the game the local boys put up a splendid battle for the trophy, but the heavier players from Nechaco townsite proved too strong for them, and in spite of the excellent play of the local team were unable to score. Murray, for the Fort George team, played a splendid game, scoring the only goal. Both teams played for all that was in them, and without a doubt was the fastest event on the football card for the year. This was the first sporting trophy that has ever been won by the Nechaco town in competition against South Fort George.”
November 8th 1913 a football game is scheduled to be played on the South Fort George fields between South Fort George and the Foley, Welch and Stewart (Construction)Boys.
FOOTBALL CLUB MEETING 3 team League confirmed
1921 – 1938
“Just as popular then and now, is the best game in the world, soccer. Even in the rough colonial town of Prince George, the British game has many followers.”
Excerpt from the Citizen, August 1921
THE PERRY CUP IS AWARDED
The Prince George Challenge Cup for Association Football, a pure silver trophy, is presented by H.G. Perry Esquire, MLA, in 1921. This trophy, first presented in April 1921, was missing for over 30 years until turning up in the local dump, where it was rescued and restored to its place of honour. The solid silver trophy is still presented to the Top Division playoff champions.
“The Prince George Challenge Cup for Association Football, presented by H.G. Perry Esquire, MLA 1921″ (tc)
NEWS CLIP FROM “THE LEADER” APRIL 15th 1921
May 1928 – H.G. Perry donates medals for a tournament in McBride. 1 team from McBride and 3 teams from PG participate. The Cubs and CNR play a game where the railway boys won by a score of 3-1.
July 7th 1932 McBride defeats Prince George 2-0 to take the Mongomery Shield
This seems to be the last mention of the Montgomery Shield. tc
THE FORMATIVE YEARS
1939 – 1949
No records found for the War years.
1950 – 1960
1955 – April 28th – Soccer starts with 6 teams
1955 – Sept 26th – Semi Finals Played at Duchess Park
1955 – Oct 9th – Italiana to meet SC Germania in the final for the Jimmy James Trophy
1955 – Oct 20th – Undefeated Italiana win Jimmy James Trophy
Team List: Alberta Duiz, Lungo Demarcio, Pino Duiz; Ovido Tominato, Titti Merer, Frank Cescon, Toni Bertoli; James Kellar, Romeo Zucollo, Sussi Armanda, Pete Pastore
The Legion “Vets” Team take on Hudson Bay at Connaught Park on Sunday followed at 4:30pm by a game between SC Germania and Inter.
1957 June 27th – City Soccer clubs to play finals
Italia to play SC Germania on Sunday for the League Cup.
1960 – 1970
PG Rotary Club helps to establish a permanent field for soccer at the old track and field grounds.
The North Cariboo Soccer League forms, but BCSA refuses to register the league as it was “…too troublesome.”
” In the seasons 1966 to 1970, the game was almost entirely played by immigrants who formed teams of similar ethnic groups. This, sadly, led to emotional outbursts related more to national pride than the game of soccer and trouble was a frequent bystander at our games. As a result the league was rarely completed and visits to courtrooms were not uncommon.” – unknown former player
” It was ugly in the beginning. We had all ethnic teams and there were fights every game. The police even had to come out and oversee the games. But then we got some organization and proper referees and order came about.” – League ref and pioneer John DaSilva
1970 – 1980
NCSL joins BCSA, as it leaves behind it’s rougher past and becomes a stronger league with teams from Fraser Lake, Quesnel, and Mackenzie.
Original clubhouse is built in 1975 with a contribution of $32,000 from the City, and a grandstand is added later.
The Vancouver Whitecaps, under coach Tony Waiters, play exhibition games here in 1977 and 1979 to sold out crowds. Hans Niedermayer is instrumental in coordinating.
NCSSL launches their annual tournament.
A youth team from the U.K. plays local club PG Italia.
Canadian national club champs Eintracht play the PG Selects, again Hans Niedermayer coordinates.
Labatts team went on a four year, 63 game unbeaten streak.
1980 – 1985
Jan 1980 NORTH CARIBOO SOCCER ASSOCIATION incorporated under the Societies Act Directors are the (late) Al Auld, Brenda Auld, (late) John DaSilva, Jim Briggs, Gaetano Mauro, Vince Buljevic, Harold Hacker, and Hans Niedermayer and this executive helps restore stability.
First four years of the decade saw political turmoil in local soccer once again, .
Canadian Olympic team plays a very competitive PG Selects.
1984 saw only 3 teams in the league, and the final was suspended due to violence.
A second league is formed, the Men’s Recreational League, also an Indoor League is formed and indoor tournament initiated.
Historic visit of Gordon Banks (1966 English World Cup team) at the old Rotary fields.
1986 – 1990
May 1989 The NCSA changes its name to the NORTH CARIBOO SENIOR SOCCER LEAGUE
The NCSSL and the Mens Recreational Soccer League amalgamate and stabilize, and a women’s league(PGWSA) is formed.
Vancouver 86ers play their first exhibition game against the PG Selects, coordinated byGaetano Mauro.
Vancouver Croatia play an exhibition against the PG Selects, coordinated by Vince Buljevic.
NCSSL assists the youth league in hosting the successful Interior Cup.
PGYSA enrols over 1000 players for the first time
Plans are initiated for a new soccer complex for the league.
1989 1st and 2nd Divisions established in the NCSSL
1990 – 1999
NCSSL hosts B.C. Summer Games soccer tournament, coordinated by Glen Thompson.
Vancouver 86ers third exhibition game in town, coordinated again by Gaetano Mauro.
Youth complex is opened by guest of honour Tony Waiters.
In 1998 the Over 45 Division was added to the NCSSL
Professional A-League game between Vancouver 86ers and Atlanta Ruckus played here in front of a record crowd at Massey Stadium, coordinated by Heather Carter.
Construction of the NCSSL complex is completed, spearheaded by Glen Thompson, and is officially opened on May 29th, 1998.
North Cariboo Senior Soccer League Clubhouse
After nearly a decade of planning and construction, the new NCSSL Clubhouse complex with three fields was opened on May 29th, 1998 at a cost of $750,000.
Glen Thompson oversaw the project and had one of the fields named in his honour. Glen also earned a B.C. Soccer Association special recognition award for his work on the project. Field #2 now has a full set of floodlights on it.
NCSSL host men’s and women’s 1999 B.C. Recreation Cup Championships at the new complex.
2000 – 2010
2001 Vancouver Whitecaps play the PG Selects at Massey Stadium. coordinatorsHeather Carter, Terry Carter. Coaches Mick Kearns, Rob Wood
2001 Field 3 at the NCSSL Completed
2002 Lights installed on field 2 at the NCSSL Fields
2002 Final fields finished to accommodate Mini Soccer at the PGYSA Fields
2002 3 intrepid players from the NCSSL, Alf Mills, Richard Ryan and Terry Carter, packed their bags and headed to New Zealand to play in the World Fun Cup with the Calgary United Team. Resulted in a Win for the United Team.
2003 Construction started on PGWSA fields – Completed 2005
August 2009 NCSSL and PGWSA host the BC Soccer “B” Cup
2011 to present
In 2011 The NCSSL realigned the league into Open/Over 30/ Over 45 Division’s.
2017 Season saw Open and 45+ Divisions with the addition of a 50+ Drop In Game.
2017 After 12 months of preparation and organization the PGWSA and the NCSSL presented their respective members with an opportunity to decide the future of senior soccer in PG. A special resolution was presented and a vote took place during the week of August 21st to 24th to Amalgamate both the mens and womens soccer clubs into one organisation. The resulting votes were tallied and an overwhelming majority by both clubs resulted in a YES vote for Amalgamation. The process now begins to bring the the two clubs Constitution and By-Laws together.
May 2018 Saw the full amalgamation between the NCSSL and the PGWSA completed and the Prince George Soccer Association(PGSA) was formed.
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