1954 A.N.A.F. Scottish Soccer Team
Starting in May of 1954, when the squad won first place in a pre-season knockout tournament, the Army Navy Air Force (A.N.A.F.) Scottish went on to defeat local rivals United Weston and Germania to win the provincial title. Then came victories over Port Arthur United and the Hamilton British Imperials to advance to the nationals.
The vaunted Vancouver North Shore United were the opponent in a best-of-three series. The Scottish edged their opponents 3-2 in Game 1 and goalkeeper Walter Norget, a young lad who was born in Spain, shut out United 3-0 to cap that remarkable season with a national title.
Norget, who had come to Canada in 1951, was the youngest player on the Scottish team in 1954, at age 22. He had not forgotten the year before, when Scottish held the New Westminster Royals to 1-1 and 0-0 results in the national semi-finals only to be blown out 5-1 in the third and final game.
The Scottish boasted a powerful but balanced side featuring George James, a classy centre-half immigrant who had played in the Scottish First Division back home. Jimmy Pines was a centre forward who collected many of Scottish’s goals. There was Norget in goal, and Dane Ben Bentjaminson - plus the rest of a cast of mostly semi-pro characters who put Winnipeg soccer on the map in what Norget called the “golden years” for the sport in this city and province.
Right back Fred Herold had an uncle in Winnipeg who helped him land a spot on the club a mere two hours after he arrived by train from Montreal in 1953. “I couldn’t speak a word of English,” Herold said. “The first guy who tried to talk to me was Al Donnett, but all I could say was no. But in soccer, it doesn’t matter. It has its own language and we did just fine together.”
Roster: Walter Norget, Jimmy Pines, Harry Ings, Fred Herold, Midge Pennington, Charlie Caithness, George MacKay, Roy Paton, John Swankie, John Henshilwood, George James, Jock Todd, Bobbie Allan, Al Donnett, Nestor Babino, Walter Frood, John Murphy, Ben Bentjaminson, Jim Murray (President), William Lawson (Trainer), Joe Gaunt (Equipment).