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
Directors:
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.

Clubs and players

Hamilton Steelers
Formed:
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
Formed:
President:
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, 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
Formed:
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

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

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

 
Final standings            GP   W   T   L  GF  GA  PTS
Toronto City               24  11   3  10  45  41  25
Montreal Cantalia          24  10   5   9  47  44  25
Hamilton Steelers          24   9   6   9  45  50  24
Toronto Italia             24   9   4  11  43  45  22
  
Toronto City won league championship based on goal average.
  
Leading goalscorer
1. Peter Smethurst (Hamilton Steelers) 16 goals    

Semi-finals
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
Attendance:
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