Canada: The People Shield
Presented by an English Sunday newspaper, The People, this competition began in 1906, and took the form of an unofficial national championship.
The competition passed into history with the formation of the Dominion of Canada Football Association in 1912, in effect being replaced by the Connaught Cup, which was awarded to the first official national champions in 1913. Today, the People Shield can be seen by visitors to the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame. (See also Calgary Caledonia, 1907.)
Questions still surround how the People Shield came to Canada to be presented to the national champions at a time when there was no national association. The Shield seems to have been passed into the hands of a Mr. G.A. Parker, who sent a letter to the Ontario Football Association in the summer of 1906. The letter was read at a meeting of the Ontario Soccer Association that October and “the executive decided that they had no jurisdiction over the present games being played off between the different teams for the People Shield,” according to the Toronto World of October 29, 1906.
The Toronto World reported that the following motion, moved by C.J. Atkinson and seconded by David Forsyth, was passed at this meeting. “The executive of the Ontario Football Association League cannot sanction a Canadian championship series without acting in conjunction with the football leagues of the other provinces, and must refuse to allow any team under their jurisdiction to compete in such a series until such united action has been taken.“
The following rider was added to the above motion: “The executive wishes it clearly understood that the present series managed by Mr. Parker cannot be considered under their jurisdiction or for the championship of Canada.”
The first series in 1906 seems to have been played exclusively between clubs from Ontario and Quebec. However, the second competition, played one year later, with the finals in Winnipeg, involved teams from Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. But for the following three years, the People Shield competition seems to have been confined exclusively to Western Canada. While Toronto Thistles won in 1906, the Calgary Caledonians won in 1907, 1908 and 1909. The competition returned to the east in 1910, with teams from Hamilton, Toronto, Montreal, Fort William and Cobalt competing against Regina and Calgary Hillhurst, with Hillhurst taking the shield back to Calgary.
In 1911 the competition for the People Shield was not held. According to a report in the Toronto World published at that time, the competition was put in abeyance to accommodate the 1911 tour of the great English amateur side Corinthians. (Thanks to Sam Gregory for the Toronto World reference.)
In 1912, the competition was played in Fort William, but once again, there were no entries from east of the Lakehead. Nanaimo won in 1913 when the competition was confined to the west coast, and by which time a national association had been formed. Nanaimo Violets won in 1914 when only two teams from Nanaimo competed. However, the shield has been competed for at various times since then, but there is no known record of the games.
1906 – Winners – TORONTO THISTLES
October 27, 1906, at the Rosedale Grounds in Toronto, Ontario
Toronto Thistles 1
HT: Att: Ref: Mr. Parker
Toronto: Galbraith – Campbell, Waldron – McLean, Murchie, McDonald –Raven, Hodgkinson, Morgan, Wilcox, Gillespie.
Dundas: Shaw – Macauley, Thombs – Johnston, Corkun, Reid – Chatland, Thombs, Walker, Miller, James.
1907 – Winners – CALGARY CALEDONIANS
July 19, 1907, in Winnipeg, Manitoba
Calgary Caledonians 1 (McLean)
Winnipeg Brittanias 0
HT: Att: Ref: D.M. Duncan
Calgary: Jock Ross – Andy Morgan, Donald McKechnie – Arthur Park,
Sandy Strang, Jimmy Petrie – Tom Stewart, Cruickshank, David Thompson, Andy McLean, Carr.
Winnipeg: Cowan – Rogers, Sutherland – Fletcher, Donaldson, Lindsay Cartwright, Dorman, McBride, Noble, McLeod.
1908 – Winners – CALGARY CALEDONIANS
May 2, 1908, in Vancouver, British Columbia
Calgary Caledonians 2 (W. Stewart, Johnston)
Ladysmith 1 (Adams)
HT: Att: 2500 Ref: Will Ellis
Calgary: Jock Ross – Andy McLean, Donald McKechnie – Arthur Park,
Sandy Strang, Jimmy Petrie – Tom Stewart, Geordie Johnstone, William Stewart, David Thompson, Joe Towill.
Ladysmith: Hartley – Morrison, O’Connell – Wynn, Clegg, McKinlay Grainger, Sanderson, Adams, Graham, Provins.
1909 – Winners – CALGARY CALEDONIANS
August 28, 1909, in Calgary, Alberta
Calgary Caledonians 0
Vancouver Celtics 0
HT: 0–0 Att: Ref:
Calgary: W. Strang – J. Ross, Donald McKechnie – J. Hair, Sandy Strang, Jimmy Petrie, A. Sellars, Geordie Johnstone, William Stewart, Tom Stewart, Joe Towill.
Vancouver: McCormack – Andy McLean, Payne – Knowles, Graham, Blake– Pearson, Cruickshank, Hooper, Robertson, Dargle.
Vancouver Celtics had to leave before the game was replayed.
1910 – Winners – CALGARY HILLHURST
September 10, 1910, in Toronto, Ontario
Calgary Hillhurst 1 (Nuttall)
Hamilton Independent Labour Party 1 (Beaumont)
HT: 0–0 Att: 1400 Ref: Dobb
Calgary: Boss – Ross, Donald McKechnie – McEwan, Art Wakelyn, Haig , Baldwin, Nuttall, Johnston, Oliver, Stewart.
Hamilton: A. Crompton – Hutching, Saville, Coombes, Lawson, Hales , Daly, Turner, Beaumont, Sam Farrant, Coleman.
September 12, 1910, in Toronto, Ontario – Replay
Calgary Hillhurst 3 (Baldwin 2, Stewart)
Hamilton Independent Labour Party 2 (Coleman, Lawson)
HT: 0–0 Att: Ref:
Calgary: Boss – J. Ross, Donald McKechnie – F. McEwan, Art Wakelyn,
J. Haig – B. Baldwin, W. Nuttall, J. Johnston, F. Oliver, A. Stewart. Hamilton: Crompton, Hutching, Savelle, Coombes, Lawson, Hales, Daly, Turner, Beaumont, Farrant, Coleman.
1911 – No competition
1912 – Winners – FORT WILLIAM C.P.R.
July 21, 1912, in Winnipeg, Manitoba
Fort William C.P.R. 3 (o.g., Cassidy, Read)
Lethbridge Miners 0
HT: 0–0 Att: Ref: Jim Duncanson (Winnipeg)
Fort William: Entwistle – Hough, Murray, Walker, Pyatt, Raby, Gibbons, Russell, Cassidy, Read, Sinclair.
Lethbridge: Summer – Melville, Easton – Willett, Brennan, Thompson
Holberton, Parker, Raisbeck, McMurtrie.
1913 – Winners – NANAIMO UNITED
May 29, 1913, in Vancouver, B.C.
Nanaimo United 1 (Ollerton)
Vancouver Thistles 0
HT: Att: Ref:
Nanaimo: Shepherd – Murray, Hewitt – Massey, Wright, Young – Waddell,
Ollerton, Gibson, Stobbart, Lightfoot.
Vancouver: Lambie – Christian, McEwan – Teed, Bruce, Butchart – Bell, Anderson, Tomlinson, Matthews, Douall.
Competed for by B.C. teams in Vancouver; only two teams entered.
1914 – Winners – NORTHFIELD VIOLET
Competed for by Nanaimo teams in Nanaimo.