Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Beautiful Game

Soccer in this country is generally seen as a game of immigrants and suburban grade schoolers. So who knew that Jamaica Plain had a championship team a century ago? Were they locals, or did they just use Jamaica Plain as a headquarters? The Boston Rovers had their home at the corner of Washington and Williams streets. Was that Doyle's, or was it the building on the opposite corner of Williams street? Foss field was at the corner diagonally across from Doyle's, where the English High School track is now. It was mentioned in an earlier post regarding baseball played on the Sabbath. I'd love to know whether the trophy mentioned below still exists - wouldn't that be cool?

This map from 1914 shows Foss field, at Washington and Williams streets - look for the adjoining Boston Consolidated Gas property.

Boston Daily Globe March 20, 1909

Cup Given To Boston Rovers

Marks Championship of Soccer League.

Jamaica Plain Team Holds Open House for the Ceremony.

It was a gala night at the rooms of the Boston Rovers, corner of Williams and Washington sts, Jamaica Plain, last evening, when the formal exercises attending the presentation of the John C. McGee cup, the championship trophy of the Boston association football league, took place in the presence of a large gathering of league players and their friends.

The Rovers's team that went through the season undefeated champions of the league, were each presented with a handsome gold medal. The team included J. Fairweather capt, Ben Lyncy, R.C. Lewis, H. Gray, A. Houston, P. Guthrie, R. McLay, D. Maitland, J. Caithness, G. Collins, W. Collins, S. McCleary, W.D. Murchie, James Smith, D. Stewart.

Pres Barker of the league presented the cup, donated by the late John C. McGee of East Boston, and it was accepted by Capt Fairweather of the Rovers for his associates in a neat speech. The trophy is a massive silver loving cup resting on an ebony pedestal. Then followed the presentation of the individual gold medals to the players by Pres Barker, each of the men responding briefly. The cheers of the large audience concluded the ceremony.

The entertainment provided introduced David L. Smith, who sang some of Harry Lauder's songs, W.J. Colling, A. Barkley, William Tighe, Daniel Lynch, James Smith, all with vocal selections, that were enthusiastically received.

The committee in charge was D. Lynch, James Smith, James Fairweather, L. Blume. The Boston Rovers will play the Methuens, champions of the Lowell, Lawrence and district league, at Lawrence on April 19, for the championship.

Boston Daily Globe June 28, 1909

Soccer Football Plans.

Four Teams Already Entered for the Fall Championships.

Sec McLearie reported to a meeting yesterday of the Boston and district soccer football league in Jamaica Plain the following teams that have announced their intention to compete this season: Boston Rovers, Boston American, Lynn City and the Fore Rivers of Quincy. The Hopedale Rovers, Clan Lindsay and the Boston Rangers of Brighton will be asked to enter.

Two representatives from the steamships Ivernia and Saxonia asked to be allowed to enter the ship's teams. It was suggested that the two teams amalgamate so that one team would be in port twice within the month when the application will be accepted. It was decided to open the season as early in September as possible.

Boston Daily Globe September 3, 1910

Opening Of Soccer Season.

Big Game of the Day Will Be Played in Jamaica Plain.

Today marks the opening in Boston of the soccer football championship season, 10 clubs of the Boston league matching up for battle.

At 4 o'clock on Foss athletic park Jamaica Plain, the big game of the day takes place, between the Boston Americans and the Lynn city club. Manager Wyse of the home club sent out invitations to many followers of the game, including Alexander MacGregor of the Boston Caledonian club and Mr Grieve, donor of the championship club that the Boston league stars will strive for.

Today will be a sort of gala reunion day for the soccer fans of the Hub, and a big crowd is expected on Foss park, the new home of the game.

At Beverly the Champion Boston Rovers open the struggle against the new Beverly club.

Sec Sam McLerie of the league tonight will start for New York and Philadelphia, where the soccer game is coming strong this year.

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