Chinese Soccer Team

The Chinese Students Soccer team was a Vancouver soccer team established in 1920. It was an illustrious team that used skill and speed to win the Brunswick Cup in 1925, Iroquois Cup in 1926, the Wednesday League Cup in 1931, the Mainland Cup in 1933, and the Spalding Cup in 1937 and 1939. Vancouver’s Chinatown gambling dens would shut down on the days that the team played as everyone, two to three thousand people, would attend the games to cheer on their hometown heroes. Players like Quene Yip, Dock Yip, William Lore, and Tong Louie would come home to celebrations and parades after a victory on the soccer field. These soccer games were significant because during most of the team’s lifetime, Canada’s Exclusion Act (1923-1947) was in effect. Essentially, no Chinese could enter Canada during these years, but through soccer, these men transcended the prejudices and racial boundaries of the time: Chinese and Whites were equals on the playing field. In existence until 1939, the Chinese Students Soccer team’s sports accomplishments and its contribution toward changing the attitudes between different cultural groups reveal an important and downplayed part of multifaceted Canadian history.