The story of Winnipeg is exemplified in the courage, honour and heroism of its people. Especially, the men and women in uniform who served our country in battle.
Three neighbours who lived on a quaint street displayed that valour by enlisting together to fight in World War I. Only one returned. Corporal Leo Clarke, Sergeant-Major Frederick William Hall, and Lieutenant Robert Shankland were connected through the highest military honour in the British Empire – The Victoria Cross. That bravery also led to the renaming of Pine Street to Valour Road.
Their Canadian story resonates from coast to coast, especially in Winnipeg. The strength of character, heart and fearlessness that these young men faced in battle represents the characteristics that make Manitobans a great people. This is a central theme that runs through the veins of those who have called Manitoba home for thousands of years.
Manitoba has also been a pioneer in the early years of Canadian Soccer. In 1912, Winnipeg hosted the first Canadian Soccer Association meeting and the first two official national champions. A great honour for the province.
The Norwood Wanderers of St. Boniface won the first Connaught Cup championships in 1913 and 1914. Winnipeg Scottish were also perennial champions, joining United Weston teams in the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame.
In 1992, the Winnipeg Fury won the championship after defeating the favourites Vancouver 86ers in a two-game series. In recent years, Winnipeg has produced multiple soccer professionals, including women’s national team players Desiree Scott and Sophie Schmidt, pioneer builder Fred Stambrook, and one of the country’s most decorated FIFA officials, Hector Vergara.
The people of Winnipeg will now have a professional club to call their own, a team where local players will have the opportunity to develop and showcase their skills in front of family, friends and passionate supporters. Valour FC will also inspire a new generation to one day represent their community club.
The stewardship of Valour FC is led by a volunteer board of directors that will work with the club’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Wade Miller, to build a successful and sustainable organization. A club that creates new opportunities for aspiring local players to play professionally in our community and gives Manitobans a chance to cheer them on.
Investors Group Field has been home to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, but now Valour FC will play its games at one of the finest football facilities in the country. The stadium has also hosted major soccer events including the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup where it received great reviews for functionality and atmosphere.
The technical philosophy of Valour FC will be built on attacking soccer, and at the heart of our club culture will be the principles of character and honesty. Our club will also be steadfast in its preparation and bring a commitment to excellence that is reflective of our community and supporters.
Success of Valour FC will not only be measured by sustainability and consistent growth, but on the core values that reflect its name; honour, integrity and generosity. Growing soccer in Manitoba is a given; identifying good people will be our approach to fostering that growth.
Manitobans will be with us every step of the way.
For Valour, for Winnipeg.