1961 Eastern Canada Professional Soccer League

President: Harold Ballard, Toronto
First vice-president: John Longworth, Hamilton
Second vice-president: John Parkinson, Toronto
Secretary: Bill Simpson, Toronto
Treasurer: Al Agnelli, Toronto
Duncan Beattie, Hamilton Steelers
Pete Bosa, Toronto Italia
Steve Stavro, Toronto City
Aldo Cecchi, Montreal Cantalia

League formation

The Eastern Canada Professional Soccer League was formed in Toronto on Thursday March 2, 1961. It started with Toronto Italia leaving the National Soccer League to join Toronto City and Hamilton Steelers. It was expected that Montreal Cantalia would also join the league.


Referees: Mike Devine

Clubs and players

Hamilton Steelers
President: Arnold Martini
General manager: Tally Tatti
Head coach: Hugh McLean
Key players: Goalkeeper Enore Zanori; fullback Dave Hartwell; half-backs Jimmy Smith and Andre Rios; forwards Phil Cannavacciuolo, Peter Smethurst, Umberto Stabellini.

Montreal Cantalia
General manager: Nick Schmidingen, replaced by Severino Sylvestre
Head coach: Norberto Iacono
Key players: Goalkeeper Walter Ormeno; fullbacks Sergio Chira and Giulio Neira; half-backs Bobby Johnstone and Nevo Varglien; forwards Ismail Ferreira, Fausto Rosello, Andy Toth and Ante Kosta

Toronto City
Formed: 1959
Colors: Red and white
Owner: Steve Stavros
General manager: George Gross
Head coach: Tommy Younger
Assistant coach: Jimmy Gilmour
Key players: Goalkeepers Tommy Younger and Barry Smart; fullbacks Charlie Garvin, David Caldwell and Tommy McGlennon; half-backs Andy Fraser and Andy Gearie; forwards Stanley Matthews, Danny Blanchflower, Alan Morton and Jackie Mudie.

Toronto Italia
Nickname: The Azzurris
Stadium: Varsity Stadium, Toronto
Colors: Blue shirts
General manager:
Head coach: Tony Codeluppi
Key players: Goalkeeper Gianni DiDavide; fullbacks Mario Pizutti and Angelo Romanin; half-back Bob Kelly; forwards Bruno Bertolin, Fred Bundschoks, Wally Hinshelwood, Graham McInnes and Francisco Quaglia.

Review of the season

Toronto City announced the signing of former Scottish international goalkeeper Tommy Younger as player coach on April 4.

On Thursday night April 27 Toronto City announced the signing of three more players from the United Kingdom. The three players were Jackie Mudie, of Stoke City; Roy Gatrix, Blackpool and Barry Smart, Chelsea.

On Thursday night May 11 nine British players arrived to play for Toronto City.

Montreal Cantalia lost its home opener against Hamilton Steelers on Sunday May 14. An estimated crowd of 5,000 saw the Steelers win 2-1.

The opening game in Toronto was played on Saturday night May 20, with Toronto Italia beating Toronto City 3-2. 16,509 fans watched the game at Varsity Stadium.

Jack Mudie scored three goals to give Toronto City a 5-1 win over Montreal Cantalia on Wednesday night May 24. Stanley Matthews scored one goal and assisted on a goal scored by Ambrose Morgan. Ismael Ferreira scored for Cantalia. 7,515 fans watched the game in Toronto.

Toronto City won the regular season league championship based on goal average over Montreal Cantalia.

Leading goalscorers

1. Peter SmethurstHamilton Steelers16
2. Ismael FerreiraMontreal Cantalia12
3. Bruno BertolinToronto Italia11
3. Ambrose MorganToronto City11
5. CannavacciouloHamilton Steelers 9

September 21, 1961 Hamilton
Montreal Cantalia 4
Hamilton Steelers 1

September 23, 1961 Delorimier Stadium, Montreal
Montreal Cantalia 4 (Ante Kosta 2, Andy Toth, Nick Filiopione)
Hamilton Steelers 1 (Gunnar Pinkenelle)

Cantalia won series

September 23, 1961 Varsity Stadium, Toronto
Toronto City 0
Toronto Italia 0

September 25, 1961 Varsity Stadium, Toronto
Attendance: 3,668
Toronto City 2 (Ambrose Morgan, Willie Huberts)
Toronto Italia 1 (Ken Smith)

September 27, 1961 Varsity Stadium, Toronto
Attendance: 3,758
Toronto City 2
Toronto Italia 6

Italia won series

President’s Cup

September 30, 1961 Varsity Stadium, Toronto
Attendance: 5,000
Toronto Italia 1 (Ken Smith)
Montreal Cantalia 1 (Ante Kosta)

October 8, 1961 Varsity Stadium, Toronto
Attendance: 5,435
Referee: Ray Morgan
Toronto Italia 1
Montreal Cantalia 2

October 9, 1961 Varsity Stadium, Toronto
Montreal Cantalia 3 (Emil Erbach, Andy Toth, Nick Filippino)
Toronto Italia 0

Montreal Cantalia won the President’s Cup

Exhibition games

June 7, 1961 Lansdowne Park, Ottawa
Attendance: 3,568
Montreal Cantalia 3 (Vic Santini 2, Nevio Varglien)
Stade de Reims (France) 5 (Vincent 2, Piantoni 2, Faivre)
* Taped coverage of the game was shown later that night on CJOH

June 11, 1961 Hamilton
Attendance: 4,000
Hamilton Steelers 1
Stade de Reims (France) 8

June 18, 1961 Ottawa
Ottawa & District All-Stars 1 (Johnny Szabo)
Montreal Cantalia 6 (Ros Valentino 4, Fausto Rosello, Jorge Sanchez)

June 21, 1961 Varsity Stadium, Toronto
Toronto Italia 0
Stade de Reims (France) 9 (Jacques Favre 4, Roger Piantoni 4, Michael LeBolond)

June 22, 1961 Delorimier Stadium, Montreal
Attendance: 3,600
Montreal Cantalia 1 (Nevio Varglien penalty)
Stade de Reims (France) 4 (Bruno Rodzik, Roger Piantoni, Michel LeBlond, Lucien Muller)

June 24, 1961 Varsity Stadium, Toronto
Toronto City 2 (Ambrose Morgan 2)
Stade de Reims (France) (Jean Muller)