Pioneer - John Russell

2010 John RussellBorn: Edinburgh, Scotland, April 2, 1895. Died: Vancouver, B.C.
December 21, 1964.

John Russell devoted a lifetime to the administration of soccer in Canada and in British Columbia in particular, starting with the Vancouver Athletic Club, and continuing with the Lower Mainland Football Association, the British Columbia Football Association and the Dominion of Canada Football Association. He came to Canada in 1905 and played with the Vancouver Athletic Club 1907-1912 before becoming the club secretary. In 1913 he was named to the executive of the Vancouver and District Referees Association. During the turbulent years before 1920 which saw a battle between the proponents of professional and amateur soccer, he aligned himself with the amateur side and became president of the B.C. Football Association in 1920. He represented the BCFA during the debates which led to B.C. joining the national governing body for the first time in 1921. From 1921 to 1925 he was first vicepresident of the Dominion of Canada Football Association and then seved as president until the 1931 AGM. During another period of turmoil in B.C. soccer he was called upon to be a member of the commission formed by the DCFA to run the game on the West Coast, and remained a member of the commission from 1933 to 1939 and again from 1953 to 1957. When the DCFA was reformed in 1946 following World War Two, John Russell became secretary for one year. In all John Russell devoted at least 44 years to the administration of soccer in Canada, including many years at the top levels of the game. He was inducted into the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame in 1966.