1961 National Soccer League

President: Walter Freer
Vice-president: Aldo Cecchi, Montreal
Directors: Charlie Jamieson, Toronto and M. Michalofsky, Toronto
Secretary-manager: Frank Thirkettle

Annual general meeting

The annual general meeting was held in Toronto on Saturday January 14, 1961. Walter Freer was re-elected as president of the league. Montreal Ukraina and Toronto Tridents were voted out of the league. As the two clubs had finished bottom of the league they had to re-apply for admission to the league and this was unsuccesful for both clubs. In a step to get away from being labelled an Italian club the Hamilton Italo-Canadians informed the league that they would change their name to the Hamilton Steelers. Toronto Sparta were also granted the right to a name change as an Italian group had purchased the club from Czech interests the previous season. The new name was to be Toronto Roma. The Hamilton club also suggested that the Toronto clubs should share the gate receipts for the matches in Toronto. This matter was tabled until the annual meeting was to be convened in Montreal on January 28.

The new Toronto Roma franchise were looking forward to an intense rivalry with Toronto Italia. However the Italia club resigned together with Hamilton Italo-Canadians and Montreal Cantalia, and all of these three clubs joined the new professional circuit the Eastern Canadian Professional Soccer League. They were joined in that league by the newly-formed Toronto City.

Clubs and players

Montreal Concordia


Founded:
Stadium: Faillon Stadium, Montreal
President: Joe Slyomovics
General manager:
Head Coach:

Roster included goalkeepers Emilio Svich and Hank De Goeij; fullbacks Hector Lopez, Gabrielle De Toni and George Czekly; half-backs Julius Klug, Charles Horvath, Hector Marinaro and Tommy Barrett; forwards Arpad Kiraly, Hector Dadderio, Joao Jorge, Olivio Lacerda, Tito Maule, Humberto Gambara, Steve Kenderes and Jose Sanchez.

Joe Slymovics, Montreal real estate tycoon was running the Concordia team. By the end of April they had sold 4,000 season tickets for the International and National League games.

Olympia-Harmonie
Founded:
Stadium: Stanley Park, Toronto
President/General manager:
Head Coach: Lutz Freitag

Roster included Hans Schneider

Polish White Eagles
Founded:
Stadium: Stanley Park, Toronto
Manager and coach: Jimmy Doherty

Roster included goalkeeper Bob Patterson; Romelio Mihowik, Wally Koscielny; forwards Alfie Lesz, Ed McLeod, Tom McLeod and Ted Purdon.

On May 24 Polish White Eagles announced the signing of Ted Purdon from Bristol Rovers.

George Scott arrived by plane on Friday June 2 to strengthen the Polish White Eagles.

Brothers Ed and Tom McLeod.

After the season the White Eagles applied to join the ECPSL, the application was accepted on the condition that the White Eagles operated out of Buffalo. The Polish club officials reluctently accepted this.  

Toronto Hungaria
Founded:
Stadium: Stanley Park, Toronto
Head Coach: Steve Koltai

Roster included goalkeeper D’Arc Angelo; forwards Mike Csurgo (inside right) and Gorgenyic (inside right) and Imre Dora (centre forward).

Toronto Roma


Founded:
Stadium: Stanley Park, Toronto
President/General manager:
Head Coach: Ostap Steckiw
Key players:

Roma hired former Ukraina coach Ostap Steckiw to lead their new team. At the time he also worked as a fitter with a construction firm, he had come to Canada nine years earlier from Lwow in the western Ukraine.

After the season Toronto Roma joined the ECPSL.

Sport Association Ukraina


Founded: 1948
Stadium: Stanley Park, Toronto
President/General manager:
Head Coach:

Roster included Bob Vukasonvic, Larry Nolan, Leo Dowhaluk, Stu Robertson

Top scorer was Leo Dowhaluk.

Ulster United


Founded: 1914
Stadium: Stanley Park, Toronto
President/General manager:
Head Coach:

Roster: Goalkeepers Ian Deans and Chris Conway; fullbacks Andrew Young and Frank McAuley; half-backs Joe Milton, Tom Quigley and Beppi Schiabel; forwards Bobby Beatty, Bill Lea, Terry Mulvoy, John Menzies and Roger Webster

Review of the season

The season opened on Sunday April 23 with Toronto Hungaria defeating Toronto Olympia 6-2 in front of 4,000 fans at Stanley Park. On Saturday April 29 Ulster United beat Montreal Concordia 3-2 in front of 1,687 fans in Toronto. Johnny Menzies, Bobby James and John McManus scored for Ulster. Mike Horvath and Vic Gambaro scored for Concordia. The following day 4,316 fans watched Toronto Ukraina and Montreal Concordia play to a 4-4 tie. George Crook and Ken Smith scored two goals each for Ukraina. Dadderio, Jorge, Tito Maule and Sanchez scored for Concordia.

On Monday May 8 Montreal Concordia beat Toronto Roma in front of 5,500 fans.

Later in the season Ken Smith joined Toronto Italia in the ECPSL. Ken was known as a happy wanderer. After the ECPSL season he joined Halifax City in England.

Toronto Roma won the league championship on Tuesday September 26 when they beat Concordia 4-1 in the final league game of the season.

Concordia declined to take part in the play-offs as its foreign players were about to leave.

Toronto Ukraina captured its fourth National Soccer League title by beating Toronto Hungaria in the Labatts Cup finals. Ukraina won the best-of-three final in two straight games.

The NSL saw its gates reduced from 241,000 in 1960 to less than 100,000 in 1961.

After the season Toronto Roma joined the ECPSL. The Toronto White Eagles applied to join the ECPSL, the application was accepted on the condition that the White Eagles operated out of Buffalo. The Polish club officials reluctently accepted this.  

Results and standings

Play-offs (Round-robin series)
October 5, 1961 Toronto
Toronto Hungaria 3 (Imre Dora, Julius Beraxa, John Gyonyi)
Toronto Roma 0

October 8, 1961 Toronto
Toronto White Eagles 2
Toronto Ukraina 3

October 9, 1961 Toronto
Toronto Hungaria 4 (Lajos Gorgenyi 4)
Olympia Harmonie 2 

Labatts Cup Finals
October ??, 1961 Toronto
Toronto Ukraina 1
Toronto Hungaria 0

October 22, 1961 Toronto
Attendance: 1,871
Toronto Ukraina 1 (Sylvester Chorneawsky)
Toronto Hungaria 0