The second Manitoba basketball team to capture the national championship now joins its 1926 Toilers’ brethren (inducted in 1982) in the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame. The 1927 Winnipeg Toilers continued a hoops’ dynasty that saw them win the national crown again in 1932.
The Toilers’ phenomenon was founded at the YMCA in 1910 under the tutelage of the Physical Instructor Bill Alldritt. After the 1926 team captured the national crown in Montreal, the 1927 version (identical roster with the exception of the addition of W. Gayton) swept all comers in the West. Winnipeg was to host the Canadian Championship for the first time. The Toilers went on to defeat the Eastern Champion Windsor Alumni in a two game series at the old Amphitheatre Rink. The fans filled the facility despite the pessimism of the Amp’s owner Bill Holmes, who doubted anyone would pay to watch basketball and only acquiesced after Colonel A.C. Samson convinced Tribune Editor Bruce Boreham to intervene on the team’s behalf.
ROSTER: Back Row L-R: H.A Schendel (G), W. Gayton(F), W. “Waddy” Ferguson(C), Al Silverthorne (G), G.A. (George) Wilson (F-Capt.), G.C. (Gord) Cumming (C), J.L. “Skinny” Clifford (F), Lyn Sinclair (G), Bill Thorogood (G). Front Row L-R: Dr. F.E. Warriner-Chairman Phys. Dept. Executive, Archie Ferguson-Coach, Wm. A. (Bill) Alldritt-YMCA Physical Director.