Pioneer - The Castonguay Brothers

2013 The Castonguay BrothersConduct research into the history of soccer in Quebec prior to World War Two and the thing that strikes you is the almost total absence of French names. Leading you to the conclusion that French speaking Canadians did not play the game, at least at the higher levels of the time. However there is one exception – The Castonguay Brothers, they were unique in that not only did they play but that they were among the finest players of their era, not only in Quebec but all across Canada. If there had been a Canadian national team at that time they would surely have been considered. The three brothers, Roland, Paul Emile and Marcel, played for a variety of different clubs during their careers, but of particular significance is the fact they they all played at some time for the great Montreal Carsteel team owned and operated by the late Len Peto, former president of the Dominion of Canada Football Association. In 1939 when Carsteel reached the final of the Challenge Trophy, only to lose in four games to Vancouver Radials, only Roland and Paul Emile played, and Paul Emile scored in three of the four games. Following the war all three played in the Carsteel team that reached the semifinal in 1947, and in 1948, when Carsteel beat Vancouver St. Andrews to win the trophy only Paul Emile and Marcel played. By that time Roland had retired. Moreover Roland, known to everyone as "Dempsey," was on the winning team when Verdun Park won the trophy in 1934, and scored in two of the three games. Dempsey played for the Montreal allstar teams against Charlton Athletic in 1937 and the touring Scottish F.A. team in 1939. However, Paul Emile attracted enough attention during that time that he was offered a trial with Glasgow Celtic but the war intervened. In 2011 all three brothers were inducted together into the Quebec Soccer Hall of Fame.