Canada Soccer

Connaught Series: dominant Westminster side wins four national titles in nine years

Posted on 2 July 2017 in Around the Soccer World

From 1928 to 1936, the Westminster Royals were the dominant team of Canadian soccer, winning four Dominion of Canada Football Championships, five Connaught Series provincial playdowns, and four BC Province Cup titles. They won 23 of 30 matches in the inter-provincial playdowns, with captain Dave Turner lifting the Challenge Trophy at the end of the championship in 1928, 1930, 1931, and 1936.

Turner was the lone player to feature in all four championships, although he wasn't the only star that led Westminster to national laurels. From 1928, the team featured Dickie Stobbart at inside right, George Anderson at right back, George Russell at centre half, Harry Chapman at outside left, and Jock Coulter at centre forward. Along the way, the team also featured Aubrey Sanford, Tommy Trotter, Bill Findler, Johnny McKay, Ernie Hammond, Tommy McKibbin, Jimmy Spencer, and Trevor Harvey.


STORY OF THE 1928 CHAMPIONSHIP
Westminster Royals FC won their first Dominion of Canada Championship in 1928, the start of nine-year dynasty over which time they won four BC Cup provincial titles, five Connaught Series provincial playdowns, and four Dominion titles (1928, 1930, 1931, 1936). They were a destined team in 1928, beating up Edmonton Canadian Legion and Winnipeg Westbrook in the playdowns before beating Montréal Canadian National Railways in the final.

Westminster scored at will, with Jock Coulter and captain Dave Turner scoring 22 of a record 32 goals. Coulter the centre forward was the hero of the Connaught Series, producing multi-goal games in four of his six matches. The Westminster team were outstanding with a record of six wins and one loss in seven matches.

CHAMPIONSHIP WINNING GOAL • JOCK COULTER
Jock Coulter exploded for four goals and one assist in the final match of the 1928 Championship final, including the series winner in the first half. Up 2-1 after 45 minutes, Coulter scored three more times in the second half.

TOP SCORER • JOCK COULTER
Westminster’s 26-year old centre forward Jock Coulter scored a record 15 goals in just six matches during the 1928 Championship. He scored three hat tricks. Montréal’s Bill Finlayson ranked second with 10 goals.

1928 CHALLENGE TROPHY • CAPTAIN DAVE TURNER
Upon returning home on 7 August, Westminster Royals FC were welcomed at a banquet at the Russell Hotel. Among the guests was Mayor A.W. Gray, who received the Challenge Trophy for safekeeping from Royals FC manager Earl McLeod.


STORY OF THE 1930 CHAMPIONSHIP
Westminster Royals FC won the 1930 Dominion of Canada Football Championship, winning their second title in three years. The team featured nine returning players from the 1928 squad, this time eliminating Calgary  Hillhurst FC and Winnipeg Hearts in the playdowns before beating Montréal Canadian National Railways in the Championship final.

Westminster won five of seven matches, including a big 8:1 win over Calgary in the opening round. Up against the defending champions, they won the opening match 1:0, then lost the second match 0:5. It could have been either side’s day in the finale, but Westminster took the honours after Jock Coulter scored the lone goal on a penalty. Goalkeeper Aubrey Sanford, the hero of the Championship, posted his third clean sheet of the 1930 Connaught Series.

CHAMPIONSHIP WINNING GOAL • JOCK COULTER
Westminster’s Jock Coulter scored the series-winning goal of the Championship, scoring the lone goal of the third and deciding match on a penalty. Coulter scored from the spot after Montréal’s Jock Duguid handled the ball in the area.

TOP SCORER • JOCK COULTER
Westminster’s Jock Coulter scored eight goals in six matches to lead the 1930 Championship in scoring. He scored four goals in one game, while no other player scored more than three during the playdowns.

1930 CHALLENGE TROPHY • CAPTAIN DAVE TURNER
Westminster Royals FC captain Dave Turner once again accepted the Challenge Trophy on behalf of his Westminster teammates. It marked the second time in three seasons that Royals FC lifted the Dominion title.


STORY OF THE 1931 CHAMPIONSHIP
Westminster Royals FC won the 1931 Dominion of Canada Football Championship to become just the second team to win back-to-back titles. They also became the first team to win the Championship on three occasions. They eliminated Edmonton Canadian National Railways and Winnipeg Irish in the playdowns before beating Toronto Scottish FC in the final.

Despite losing five players through suspension, the Westminster team made sufficient replacements to become the first three-time winners of the Championship. Newcomers like Bill Findler and Ernie Hammond supported the existing cast that included Aubrey Sanford, Dickie Stobbart, and Dave Turner. The captain Turner was the hero of the Championship while 39-year old Stobbart won his fourth and last title.

CHAMPIONSHIP WINNING GOAL • DAVE TURNER
Westminster’s Dave Turner scored the series-winning goal of the Championship, scoring the opening goal of a 3:0 win midway through the first half. Turner scored the winner moments after a Dickie Stobbart shot was saved by the goalkeeper.

TOP SCORER • ERNIE HAMMOND
Westminster’s 27-year old centre forward Ernie Hammond scored six goals in six matches during the 1931 Championship, including two in the final two-match sweep of Toronto Scottish FC.

1931 CHALLENGE TROPHY • CAPTAIN DAVE TURNER
After the series, captain Dave Turner accepted the “handsome championship trophy” from Sam Davidson, secretary of the Dominion of Canada Football Association. Turner then “thanked the Winnipeg fans for their support” in the final.


STORY OF THE 1936 CHAMPIONSHIP
The famous Westminster Royals FC became the first team to win the Dominion of Canada Football Championship on four occasions, ending a four-year drought in between titles. After beating up the Calgary Callies in a Far West opening series, the Royals waited two weeks before hosting and beating Winnipeg United Weston FC in the 1936 Championship final.

Geographically, the 1936 Dominion final was actually played ‘next door’ at Con Jones Park in the City of Vancouver, but it was close enough that the Royals were Dominion champions at ‘home.’ After Westminster and Winnipeg split the first two matches, the Royals won the deciding match three goals clear.

With 24 goals scored and only four conceded, they posted the second-best goals average in the Championship history. Half of those goals came in a 12:0 victory over Calgary Callies in the opening round, a record score. Captain Dave Turner was the hero of the Connaught Series, scoring three goals and three assists in Dominion final against Winnipeg.

Along with several repeat winners, the 1936 squad also featured first-time winners Tommy McKibbin, Johnny McKay, and Trevor Harvey, all of whom would win more titles with other teams in the years to come.

CHAMPIONSHIP WINNING GOAL • DAVE TURNER
Westminster’s “tenacious” Dave Turner scored the series-winning goal of the 1936 Championship final. On a low shot following a rebound, Turner scored the opening goal of a 3:0 win over Winnipeg in the third and deciding match.

TOP SCORER • JOCK COULTER
Westminster’s 34-year old centre forward Jock Coulter scored 13 goals in five matches, including seven goals in a single match against Calgary. Winnipeg’s Cy Johnson ranked second with seven goals.

1936 CHALLENGE TROPHY • CAPTAIN DAVE TURNER
Jack Russell, a member of the British Columbia Commission, presented the Championship trophy to Westminster captain Dave Turner. It was the fourth time that Turner accepted the sterling trophy on behalf of his teammates. After winning their first three Dominion titles in Winnipeg in 1928, 1930 and 1931, Westminster got to lift the 1936 trophy much closer to home in nearby Vancouver. Beyond this first dynasty of four championships in nine years, Westminster won another four titles in eight years during their second dynasty from 1953 to 1960.


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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