Monthly Archives: February 2014

Angus ‘Bones’ Allen

Angus ‘Bones’ Allen
Angus ‘Bones’ Allen

(September 12, 1881 – June 28, 1941)
Cornwall Colts (1898-1902)
St. Catharines Athletics (1903)
Ottawa Capitals (1904-1908)
Regina Capitals (1909)
Vancouver Lacrosse Club (1909-1913; 1915)

Born in Cornwall, Angus J Allen – better known in his day as ‘Bones’ – started his lacrosse career around 1898 with the Cornwall Colts of the National Lacrosse Union. He then played one season in the Canadian Lacrosse Association with the St. Catharines Athletics in 1903 before joining the Ottawa Capitals in 1904. Allen then remained in Ottawa for the duration of his Eastern lacrosse career as he also held down employment at the Department of the Interior.

He played the attacking midfield position with occasional assignment as the inside or outside home on the crease. His size and shifty play made him exciting to watch in action.

Well-regarded by his fellow players, Allen was “…a prince and a fellow. Bones played hard. He could take the bumps and hand them out with never a whimper. A real man and a real sport,” is how opponent Gordon ‘Grumpy’ Spring recalled him, when interviewed by the Vancouver Sun the day after ‘Bones’ passed away in 1941.

 ‘Bones’ Allen with Vancouver trainer Pete Muldoon, 1912
‘Bones’ Allen with Vancouver trainer Pete Muldoon in 1912.

In 1907, the Ottawa Capitals traveled to Great Britain and played 16 games against teams located all over England. With a record of 15 wins and 1 draw, ‘Bones’ Allen led the team in scoring as the Capitals out-scored the English 168 goals to 43.

On arrival in the Old Country, the Canadians received a flattering welcome in the press and were an immense hit with the sporting public. The London Daily Express made note of Allen as one of the more “interesting personalities”, who was “…very tall, and once was very thin, but now scales close to 13 stone.” (equivalent to 182 lbs or 82.5kg)

Gaining attention as a solid lacrosse star, he was almost lured south of the border to play lacrosse in St. Paul, Minnesota later that same year.

He came west with the Ottawa Capitals in 1908 in their challenge for the Minto Cup. While he was staying in New Westminster with the team, he met his future wife there. He would return back east with the team, but then made his move westward as he entered into the bonds of matrimony.

The following year, in the spring of 1909, saw Angus Allen sign with the talent-stacked Regina Capitals for two games – playing alongside such greats as Édouard ‘Newsy’ Lalonde, ‘Bun’ Clark, Johnny Howard, and Harry ‘Sport’ Murton. The prairie team had doled out the cash to load up on ringer talent in their attempt to take the Minto Cup off New Westminster Salmonbellies, losing the two games series 6-4 and 12-2. Allen then stayed on the Coast and three weeks later was suiting up for Vancouver in their season opener.

‘Bones’ Allen, wearing #9, goes up against ‘Bun’ Clark at Hastings Park, 1913
‘Bones’ Allen, wearing #9, goes up against New Westminster goalkeeper ‘Bun’ Clark at Hastings Park, 1913

‘Bones’ Allen would play six seasons for the Vancouver Lacrosse Club as one of Con Jones’s many hired hands from Ontario. Despite being at the peak of his game when he arrived in Vancouver, there were some doubts about him from some of the local pundits. After a season in Vancouver, he silenced them with his play and became as well-respected as if he were one of the local lads. He would finish second in goal scoring for the Vancouver Lacrosse Club in 1909.

His best season on the Pacific Coast came the following year when he scored 10 goals in 11 games to lead all Vancouver players. He retired after the collapse of the 1913 season and then went overseas – but when Con Jones got back into the game, ‘Bones’ was lured back for one final campaign in 1915 before hanging up his gutted stick for good.

He played in a total of 56 games for Vancouver Lacrosse Club, scoring 38 goals and penalised 21 times for 110 minutes. He is ranked 14th in career scoring amongst all professional players on the Pacific Coast, and tied for 12th , with ‘Haddie’ Stoddart, in goal scoring.

‘Bones’ Allen is one of only three players ever to win both the Stanley Cup and Minto Cup as Canada’s national champion in professional hockey and professional lacrosse. His ice hockey career spanned from 1901 to 1909, winning the Stanley Cup in 1904-05 with the famous Ottawa Silver Seven. His two Minto Cup championships followed in 1906 with Ottawa Capitals and then in 1911 with the Vancouver Lacrosse Club.

allen gravesiteAngus Allen passed away in 1941 after a short illness and was buried at Ocean View Cemetery in Burnaby, his grave located underneath a large cedar tree. He was survived by his wife and five daughters. A quarter of a century later, ‘Bones’ was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1966 in the field player category. Five years later he was inducted into the Cornwall Sports Hall of Fame in the lacrosse category. His wife Leslie Allen-Gordon passed away in 1983 and was interred next to Angus.

bones allen

(PHOTO SOURCES: CLHOF X994.85(b); X979.145.1; CVA Sp P71; author’s photograph)

Dave ‘Buck’ Marshall

Dave ‘Buck’ Marshall, 1920
Dave ‘Buck’ Marshall, 1920

(1887/88 – May 23, 1975)
New Westminster Salmonbellies (1908-1911; 1913-1915; 1918-1924)
Toronto Lacrosse Club (1912)

The heavyweight of the New Westminster Salmonbellies defence, Dave ‘Buck’ Marshall started playing lacrosse in 1902 with the New Westminster West Ends in the local city league. He appeared in some senior amateur matches as early as 1904 but his last full season with the West Ends would be 1907. He joined the senior team during the 1908 season when the Salmonbellies required some youngsters to make the jump and help fortify their roster due to crippling injuries incurred by the team after their successful challenge against the Montréal Shamrocks for the Minto Cup.

Marshall’s first full professional season would come in 1910, having joined the team on a permanent basis in the latter half of the previous season. He developed into a mainstay on the defense playing alongside Salmonbellies captain Tommy Gifford.

He played one season in Ontario when he signed with the Toronto Lacrosse Club (also known as the Torontos) of the Dominion Lacrosse Union in 1912. Winning the league championship that season, Marshall was planning to return to the Torontos for the following season but the Salmonbellies management also demanded his services, so the eastern club relented under pressure and released him.

On his return from Ontario, and with Gifford retired from the playing field and now managing the team, in 1913 ‘Buck’ Marshall paired up on defence with easterner Johnny Howard. Combined with ‘Bun’ Clark backstopping them both in goal, the trio became a formidable and impregnable defensive wall against their Vancouver opponents during the next three seasons.

His usual position was as the point or coverpoint man, the two deepest defensive players on a field lacrosse team back then, although Marshall still managed to score the occasional goal here and there – including an incredible hat-trick on July 31, 1922.

While his penalty totals and minutes may seem rather high, statistics don’t paint a clear picture on account of his lengthy career compared to other equally or more penalised players with much shorter careers. Considering the roughness of the game back then, ‘Buck’ was if anything a restrained defenseman with an average of just 2.45 minutes sent off per game in an era when most penalties were doled out in generous 3 and 5 minute increments.

That didn’t mean however ‘Buck’ backed down when the play got rough, as he managed to have a few dust-ups over the years – such as the penalty-riddled match of June 26, 1915 when Marshall was tossed out of the game with 55 penalty minutes logged to his credit after a scrap with George Roberts of Vancouver. But keep in mind that back then, when a player was thrown out of a game, he was penalised in minutes by how much time still remained in the match. A total of 338 minutes of penalties between both teams would arise from that bitter contest, which saw 4 Salmonbellies and 2 Greenshirts – including goalkeeper ‘Boss’ Johnson – sent off early and both teams playing short for the rest of the game as only 15 players remained on the pitch for both teams.

Dave ‘Buck’ Marshall, December 1967
Dave ‘Buck’ Marshall, December 1967

Prior to turning professional, he tried his hand at baseball when he played first-base for a painters’ team in 1906. He also played in goal for the Royals soccer team in 1910 until amateur authorities objected.

Marshall was also noted for being a championship bowler. During a tournament in the winter of 1923-24 bowling for the New Westminster Elks, ‘Buck’ took first place and set a provincial record, scoring a total of 713 from three games. In 1911 he was on a bowling team that won the trophy for Pacific Northwest champions. His highest score was reported in 1924 to be 268 with eight strikes and two splits.

‘Buck’ Marshall played in 131 games on the Pacific Coast and scored 12 goals and 14 points – numbers which probably make him the leading scorer amongst defensive pro players. He ranks fourth in career games played and led in penalty infractions with 59 – although his 321 penalty minutes place him in fifth amongst all Coast pro players.

He appeared in 13 of the 14 professional seasons played on the Coast between 1909 and 1924; only one of three players, team-mates Cliff ‘Doughy’ Spring and James ‘Pat’ Feeney the other two, to play in as many seasons. No player managed to suit up for all 14 pro seasons in British Columbia. His final match in professional lacrosse took place on May 28, 1924 and ended on a bad note: ‘Buck’ sat out the following game due to cracked ribs he had sustained – but never saw the playing field again, as the professional league folded less than a week later.

Dave ‘Buck’ Marshall was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1967. He was born in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba in 1887 or 1888 and passed away on May 23, 1975.

buck marshall stats

(PHOTO SOURCES: CLHOF X979.150.1; X994.43)

James ‘Pat’ Feeney

James ‘Pat’ Feeney, 1920
James ‘Pat’ Feeney, 1920

(May 15, 1886 – June 19, 1948)
New Westminster Salmonbellies (1905-1915; 1918-1923)

The great little centre” known by all as ‘Pat’ Feeney was regarded as one of the fastest players – if not, the fastest – in Canada during his day – even when at the twilight of his career. When the Ottawa Capitals came west to challenge the New Westminster Salmonbellies for the Minto Cup in 1908, in their review of the opposition, the Ottawa Citizen described him as “a small, stocky chap, but looks fast and is said to have bundles of speed and grit.”

As well as his speed which made him a constant threat on the midfield, his impressive stickhandling ability was described by his Toronto Tecumseh opponents during the New Westminster Provincial Exhibition Tournament of 1907 as “the greatest they had ever seen”, along with that of his Salmonbellies team-mate Len Turnbull.

Both New Westminster boys had attracted the attention of the Tecumseh management so much so that in October 1907 there were attempts to lure ‘Pat’ and Len eastwards to suit up for the Tecumsehs for the 1908 season. Instead, both remained in their home town – and when they did go east that year, it was to help the New Westminster Salmonbellies win the first of their many Minto Cup championships.

Oddly enough, when Toronto Tecumsehs returned to British Columbia for their 1909 Minto Cup challenge against New Westminster, Feeney was forced to sit out the series when he came down with a case of rheumatism which sidelined him for half the season.

“The Fastest Centre Fielder in Canada”, ca. 1908
“The Fastest Centre Fielder in Canada”, ca. 1908

He stepped into the shoes of the legendary Alex ‘Dad’ Turnbull as the Salmonbellies’ pivot player in the midfield when age caught up to ‘Dad’ and he was forced to retire due to injuries. ‘Pat’ Feeney learnt his trade as a student of the veteran Turnbull and his playing style mirrored that of ‘Dad’.

In 1908, he was chosen for the Canadian Olympic lacrosse team but never ended up making the trip to London.

Amongst the professionals on the Pacific Coast, Feeney is tied with teammates Cliff ‘Doughy’ Spring and Dave ‘Buck’ Marshall for the most seasons played – with 13 pro campaigns under his belt between 1909 and 1923. Only Spring played in more games than ‘Pat’ Feeney’s 141 appearances for New Westminster.

‘Pat’ ranks in at sixth place in the Coast pro game both for career points (100) as well as goals scored (95). He was sent off for 34 penalties and accumulated 203 minutes, making him the 13th most penalised player on the Coast during the pro era – although his penalty totals were buttressed by 8 or 9 games where fisticuffs or ‘unsporting’ play were a likely cause.

Otherwise, by and large, he was a relatively clean player for the era, when he wanted to be. He played four seasons without a single penalty and two more seasons with just one lone infraction in the campaign assessed to his name.

James ‘Pat’ Feeney, ca.1938
‘Pat’ Feeney at a Salmonbellies re-union, ca.1938

But when the situation required it, the Irish veteran could be devilishly crafty and even annoying at times – and proud of it.

In one August 1923 game, in the final months of his career and knowing his playing days were numbered, the wily ‘Pat’ trotted on as a substitute in the second quarter and proceeded to goad his opponents into fighting as a means to draw them off to the sidelines to serve penalties. Knowing full well he was up against a soft referee in the guise of ‘Grumpy’ Spring, Feeney took advantage of the situation and exploited it to the fullest – his logic being that having the Vancouver Terminals down by a better player in exchange for the old vet was a better advantage for his New Westminster team-mates.

Whether it was deemed ‘sporting’ or not is another matter. A bitter Vancouver Daily Province would bemoan the following Monday morning about how Feeney was done as a player and had spent the entire game laughing about his antics from the sin bin and getting away with them.

‘Pat’ Feeney would manage the New Westminster Salmonbellies for one season, in 1922, relegating himself into a substitute role in which he remained until he retired from active play at the end of the following season.

His parents moved to New Westminster in 1881, five years prior to his birth. For his employment Feeney first worked in the cigar manufacturing trade before his appointment to the staff of the liquor store in New Westminster in 1921. He retired from there around three years prior to his death.

James ‘Pat’ Feeney passed away at the age of 62 in 1948 – survived by a son and a step-daughter who both were living on Vancouver Island at the time of his passing. He was posthumously inducted to the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1966.

pat feeney

(PHOTO SOURCES: CLHOF X979.150.1; X994.84; X994.170; Vancouver Daily Province May 21, 1923)

Vancouver Province cartoon of lacrosse players with referee ‘Grumpy’ Spring trotting along behind; ’Pat’ refers to ‘Pat’ Feeney, regarded one of the fast players of the era.
Vancouver Province cartoon of lacrosse players and referee ‘Grumpy’ trotting behind; ’Pat’ refers to ‘Pat’ Feeney, respected as one of the fastest players in the game – even at age 37 when this was drawn.