NDG Maple Leafs - 1946-1973
This web site is a history of the NDG Maple Leafs Junior Football Club from its inception in 1946 until its demise in 1973. All former players, coaches and executives are invited to contribute articles, photographs and memories by contacting me (Bruce Barnes) at firstname.lastname@example.org or (519) 348-0567. The site will be under constant re-construction so visit it often.
I now have DVD's of the 1963 and 1965 Little Grey Cup games. If you wish to have a copy, e-mail me at the above address.
From the “25th Anniversary Football Reunion Program” - September 29, 1990
History of the N.D.G. Maple Leafs 1946-1973 by Tim Burke
The NDG Maple Leafs were launched in the post-war euphoria of 1946 as the football flagship of then one of the most flourishing athletic communities in Canada.
Right from the start they established the pattern for their glorious 29-year history by winning the Quebec junior football championship in their inaugural season. When the club finally disbanded after 1973, it had amassed 16 provincial titles, six Eastern Canadian Championships and the Dominion Junior Football championship in 1965.
The Maple Leafs attracted much of the best talent available because of the high quality people who worked so selflessly for the club from beginning to end. Thus whatever was lacking in the Spartan facilities of Trenholme Park and the tattered hand-me-down equipment was more than made up for in team spirit and community pride.
Launched under an illustrious coach, Glen Brown, who had led HMCS Donnacona to the Grey Cup in 1944, the Maple Leafs continued to excel under his inspirational successors: co-founders Solly Mastro and Bill Davies, Roy Chesley, George Economides, Ian MacDonald, Phil Chiarella, Brian Hayes, Mike Gibbons and Ron Maddocks.
In retrospect, it’s not so much the success that is cherished, but the warm camaraderie which flourished and the memories of the great characters who gave so much of their time to the club for so many years.
Who can forget the eternally cheerful Frankie Bowers whose smile could mend a broken bone - or the delicious post-game sandwiches prepared by his wonderful wife Gertie (Rosie) Bowers? What prodigies of effort were expended by Solly and Charlie (Jesse) Johnson to keep the bailiffs at bay? Or Logue McDonald’s unbending enforcement of an Etonian dress code in the Age of Acquarius? Or Howard Odell’s gallant stand against the cops who raided the club’s Las Vegas night at Nittolo’s?
Those and a thousand other memories come tumbling out of our woebegone but not forgotten dressing room, the Black Hole of Park Row East.