This is a new picture to me. Earlier this year I received an e-mail from Paul Coté, the great-nephew of the blond young man in the centre of the front row. It contained a few old photos like this one. Will Deir, Paul’s greatuncle, was an all-round athlete in Brockville in the period 1895-1907. This is apparently a group shot of the football team that represented Brockville in inter-city competition in 1901. The original card photograph is inscribed “ ” and is from the local photography studio of Murray & Son. Alex. L. Murray was the trainer for the team and the son of George B. Murray, the Brockville photographer. By comparing this picture with a more well-known team picture taken the years before, when Brockville played for the Canadian championship, I have been able to identify 9 members of the team by their faces.
The Brockville boys had gone undefeated in the eight-team Quebec League in 1900. They then went on to play the winners of the Ontario League, the OTTAWA ROUGH RIDERS, for the Senior Championship of Canada. Through some bad luck and questionable timekeeping, Ottawa was declared the winner. The final score was 17 to 10 for Ottawa. Brockville had been in position to score, with the ball on the Ottawa goal line, with 5 minutes on the clock, when the whistle sounded to end the game. Will Deir was also a member of the 10man War Canoe team of the BOHEMIAN ATHLETIC CLUB, in the year they won the championship. He moved to Qu’Appelle, Sask. in 1907. Many of these you men were the “sports” of the town and played on most of the various seasonal teams.
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Source: from a collection of Will Deir’ s photographs now owned by Paul Coté.