Given the rich citizenry of Scottish and English in the early days of Canada, soccer, or football as it was then known, dominated our local sports scene. Many soccer teams were active at that time with our local champions travelling each year to Winnipeg to compete for the Western Canadian championship. From there it was on to the Canadian championships to compete for the "People's Shield."
Some of our local teams had competed for the title in the past, but it was the 1912 CPR team who were the first to claim the illustrious honour.
In July of 1912, the CPR team travelled to Winnipeg for the Canadian finals, where there were a total of 13 teams vying for the title. The CPR eleven made it into the finals, where they faced off against Lethbridge. The CPR team emerged victorious after defeating Lethbridge 3-0 in that final game.
Upon their return to Fort William, the team was greeted by thousands of cheering fans and honoured with a parade and civic banquet. Newspaper accounts of the team's arrival home as Dominion champions recount the tremendous excitement the team's victory made. The Times-Journal noted that "The old town never saw anything like it before...every automobile in town was lined up to convey the team to the banquet hall at the West Hotel."
The role that this team's outstanding victory had on the sports history of northwestern Ontario will never be forgotten.
Back Row (L-R): Fred Chandler (trainer), Harry Hough, Charles Entwistle, Charles Murray, W. Stobbs (assistant trainer), Harry Whitehouse (exec.)
Middle Row (L-R): G. Winn (exec.), W.H. Hutton (manager), Albert Walker, Fred Pyatt, Joe Raby, Albert E. Seed (exec.)
Front Row (L-R): Albert Gibbon, Peter Cassidy, David Cassidy, Harry Read, Frank Sinclair
Missing: Dave Cavin, Harry Nightingale, Fred Raby, Tommy Russell, Harry Victor.
Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, September 23, 1989