The British Columbia based Pacific Coast Soccer League (PCSL) is
an inter-city, cross-border adult league with a season that runs typically
from May to August. Member clubs are drawn from across the Pacific
Northwest in cities from the British Columbia interior, the Fraser
Valley, the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, through Washington
State and Oregon at times. The League offers wonderful playing
opportunities for men and women in premier and reserve divisions,
for talented players from Canada and the United States of America
who are interested in a high level of competition and the
opportunity to travel the Pacific Northwest for league games and
tournaments during the summer.
The original Pacific Coast Football (Soccer) League was formed on
July 25, 1908 with Con Jones as president and Will Ellis as
secretary. The earliest record of the league appears in The
Vancouver Daily Province of Monday July 27, 1908 in which it was
reported, "The Pacific Coast Association Football League was
organized at a meeting in Victoria on Saturday.
Con Jones of this city
is the first president of the new league and Will Ellis,
secretary-treasurer. R. Heindmarch of Ladysmith is vice-president."
The Pacific Coast Association Football League included teams from
Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo, Ladysmith and Seattle. By 1910 there
were seventeen senior teams in the league but the League folded
sometime in 1910.
A second Pacific Coast Football (Soccer) League was formed on
June 15, 1925 with C.G. Callin as president and Tommy Chrisite as
secretary. On June 26, 1926 an all-star team from the PCFL played an
English F.A. touring team in Vancouver. But the league folded in
A third Pacific Coast Football (Soccer) League was formed on
August 30, 1930 with Archie Sinclair as president and Vic Sortwell
as secretary-treasurer. On September 19, 1930 the first annual
meeting was held and James Corral was named president and Robert
Davidson, secretary-treasurer. The original four teams were
Vancouver St. Andrews, Vancouver St. Saviours, New Westminster
Royals, and a fourth team from Nanaimo. The third version of the
PCFL stumbled through the 1930s, before being re-formed in August
1939 with Tommy Nelson as president and Jock Hendry as secretary.
The season opened on Saturday September 27th 1930 with the clubs
competing for the Con Jones Memorial Trophy. St. Andrews played St.
Saviours at Con Jones Park and one day later Westminster Royals
played Nanaimo South End in Nanaimo.
The St. Andrews team in the PCSL was considered by many to be the
soccer team of the 1940's. They won every cup competition they
entered in 1947: the Mainland Cup, the Province Cup, the Anderson
Cup, the Dominion Cup and the PCSL Championship. North Shore United
achieved a similar record in 1949.
In 1957, the first year that Canada participated in World Cup
qualifying, the Canadian national team for the first two games was
selected entirely from the Pacific Coast Soccer League: the then
current Canadian champion Halecos, the most successful Canadian club
of all-time, the Westminster Royals, Vancouver St. Andrews and North
Shore United. Each of these teams at one time or another had by then
already won the Canadian championship (the Challenge Cup).
In the early years the Vancouver based Sun and the Province
newspapers gave the PCSL much press coverage. The league has counted
amongst its players some of the very best local talent including
such standouts as Sergio Zannatta, Sam Lennarduzzi, Bob Hazledine,
Bobby Smith, Peter Greco, Ken Pears, Errol Crossan, Harold Hanson,
Glen Johnson, Gerry Heaney, Ike McKay and classy imports such as
Peter Simpson to name but a few. The Vancouver Royal Canadians for a
time enjoyed Bobby Robson as head coach, who went on to manage the
English clubs Fulham and Newcastle FC and eventually became England
After the 1959-1960 season, Pacific Coast Soccer League president
Bill Findler commented that the season aggregate gate attendance had
been 39,980. By the 1962-1963 season, aggregate gate attendance had
risen to 86,000. This was at Callister Park which sadly was
demolished in 1971 and never replaced.
With the demolition of Callister Park the league transferred its
games to the astro-turf at Empire Stadium. The honour of scoring the
first PCSL goal in the first game of the first season at Empire
stadium went to Geoff McCormick, well known local youth soccer
coach. Sadly, spectators that had flocked to Callister Park every
Saturday and Sunday did not like the cavernous Empire Stadium or the
astro-turf and crowds dwindled. The PCSL was also faced with
competition from the North American Soccer League established in
1966 and joined by the Vancouver Whitecaps in 1973.
By 1973 the Pacific Coast Soccer League, the Mainland Senior
Soccer League and the Intercity Junior League merged to form the BC
Senior Soccer League, which in due course became what is today the
Vancouver Metro Soccer League (VMSL).
Shortly thereafter however the Pacific Coast Soccer league was
reconstituted as a separate entity offering a summer season, and has
continued to thrive as an independent league ever since.
The PCSL has always been well regarded for the quality of its
players. The league has produced all star teams that have played
against many of the great touring teams. From the heady days at
Callister Park where the list of touring teams included Tottenham
Hotspurs and soccer legends such as Sir Stanley Mathews, until more
recently when PCSL players have acquitted themselves admirably
against clubs such as Millwall, Sunderland and Heart of Midlothian
Committing summer to practices and games is what players do for
the "love of the game." It drives many to make it all work. With
vibrant and competitive men's and women's premier and reserve
divisions the future looks bright for the Pacific Coast Soccer