Canada Soccer

Connaught Series: Hamilton Westinghouse were first champions from Ontario

Posted on 13 August 2017 in Around the Soccer World

 Albert Thombs was a Dominion of Canada Championship winner with Hamilton Westinghouse FC, captaining his side to the 1920 title at age 38. He was both the top scorer and hero of the 1920 Championship. As noted by the Montréal Gazette after a Thombs hat trick in the 1920 playdowns, he “still has all his old tricks at his toes and a fast-thinking brain in action.”

Westinghouse were the first Dominion of Canada champions from Ontario, one year before the famouse Toronto Scottish FC side won their first of three national titles. As noted in the Toronto Telegram in 1920, "it was a great finish to a strenuous fight and there can be no doubt the team (Westinghouse) won, on the day’s play, and Hamilton have every reason to be proud of the boys who wear the red and white."

Hamilton Westinghouse were the first team to capture the Connaught Cup after extra time, winning the 1920 Dominion of Canada Championship on a Billy Gilvear winner at Varsity Stadium in Toronto. Knotted 1-1 after two matches, the extra period was played with Hamilton at an advantage as Winnipeg had already been reduced to nine men through injuries.

Westinghouse were the first team from Ontario to win the title. After eliminating Montréal CPR in the first round, they advanced to the final from a three-team series with Winnipeg Brittanias and Fort William CPR. After an additional series was required to split Winnipeg and Fort William, the final opened in Hamilton. The second match was played in Toronto as part of a Labour Day double header following the Toronto-Montréal all-star match.

Hamilton’s 28-year old inside left Billy Gilvear scored the series-winning goal of the 1920 Championship final. In a come-from-behind victory, he scored the equaliser in the second half and then the winner in extra time.

Hamilton’s 38-year old outside left Albert “Tiny” Thombs scored four goals in six matches during the 1920 Championship. Billy Gilvear
(Hamilton) and Stan Howell (Winnipeg) scored three goals each.

Tiny Thombs and Hamilton Westinghouse were already four-time Ontario Cup winners before they won the Dominion of Canada Championship for the first time in 1920. As noted in the Hamilton Spectator, “it has always been the ambition of Tiny Thombs to win a Dominion Championship medal before he retired from the game. He has achieved that ambition. After the game, Tiny was presented with the ball. It was an appropriate act as Tiny had played the game longer than any player in Hamilton and there was none more popular.”

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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