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Welcome to the London Beefeater Alumni History Page

On this page we will share historical facts and pictures from the archives of the team that have been collected over the years since the team's inception in 1975.

The Team Name

The name of the London junior football team, Beefeaters, was chosen following a 'Name the Team' contest. The winner of the contest, Paul Wraith, 12, of Lucan received two tickets to the 1975 Grey Cup game in Calgary, airfare and accommodations as well as two seasons’ tickets to Beefeaters home games.

Beefeater alumnus Ian Hayes (L) with Paul Wraith (R) and their wives
at a U of Michigan game in 2017 - 42 years after Paul named the Beefeaters

Beefeaters Mascot

In 1975 the Beefeaters had a team mascot, Buster Beefeater, who led the Beefeaters in a Participaction walkathon called WAMM (Walk a Measured Mile). Joining Buster were “Captain Cola” and broadcaster Bill Brady.


London Free Press article

The first action for the London Beefeaters was a controlled scrimmage against the Etobicoke-Lakeshore Bears. The final score was 24-6 for the Bears. The team then lost their first ever game, an exhibition game, 31-0 to the same Etobicoke-Lakeshore Bears on July 13th, 1975.

The Beefeaters first ever win was an exhibition win over the Peterborough Panthers, 41-13, on July 20, 1975. The game was played at Wolseley Barracks in London. The first ever touchdown by a Beefeater was scored by receiver Claire Vardon on a 62 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Mike Tew. Dave Benner kicked the first convert for the Beefs (he added 4 others plus 2 field goals). Other scorers in this first victory were Vardon with an 87 yard touchdown pass from Tew, Phil Clinton with a 45 yard run, Paul Walls with a 41 yard pass reception from Tew and Neil Baxter with a 60 yard pass from quarterback Greg Somerville.

Dave Benner
Claire Vardon
Mike Tew

Season Tickets for the 5 home games in 1975

The Beefeaters lost their first regular season game ever played, 22-20, to the Brantford Bisons at J.W. Little Stadium on the UWO campus. (Saturday, July 27, 1975) Phil Clinton scored the first ever regular season touchdown for the Beefeaters on a punt return of 60 yards. Dave Benner kicked the first regular season Beefeater convert while Phil Clinton also scored the first regular season offensive touchdown on a 47 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Mike Tew. Pete Lockwood scored the first regular season Beefeater defensive touchdown on a 58 yard interception return for a touchdown.

Phil Clinton

Pete Lockwood

The Beefeaters first regular season win, 20-15, came over the Niagara Regional Raiders on August 9, 1975 in St. Catharines. Quarterback Greg Somerville was 10/16 for 152 yards and Mike Tew was 3/8 for 24 yards. Running back Owen Gidley was credited with 89 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns. Wide receiver Paul Walls had 6 receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown. Dave Benner added 2 converts to complete the scoring. On defense, Eric Paivio was noted as having an outstanding game.
London Free Press - September 13, 1975

The Beefeaters secured a play-off spot in their first season following a 27-9 victory over the Windsor AKO Fratmen at J.W. Little Stadium at U.W.O. on September 28, 1975. Steve Dilbert led the Beefs with 172 yards rushing in the game, in large part to the blocking of Owen Gidley who replaced starting fullback Daryl Stephenson who was injured early in the game. There was a half-time presentation by the Midlanders Marching Band at this game. The admission price was $2.50.

Steve Dilbert

Owen Gidley

Daryl Stephenson

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The season opened with two exhibition losses, 14-7 to the Lakeshore Bears and 20-14 to the Scarborough Rams. In the opening of the regular season, the Beefs came from behind, 8-1 after three quarters, to defeat the Brantford Bisons 28-8. In the first three quarters only Darryl Stephenson’s single was on the board for the Beefeaters. Then in the fourth the offense came alive and overpowered the Bisons. Pete Enright scored on a 45-yard run, Bob Maniago took a 3-yard pass from quarterback Greg Sommerville, Joe Rea scampered in from 29 yards out and Jeff Macaulay caught a 12 yard pass. To complete the scoring, Macaulay booted 3 converts. The Beefs went on to finish that season in first place in the Western Division with an 8 win, 2 loss season. On offense the Beefs scored 215 points and gave up 157 on defense. There were 3 divisions at that time with 13 teams. In the first round of the playoffs, the Beefs overpowered the Burlington Braves 41-3. Scoring for the Beefs were Ken Eady, on a 1-yard pass from quarterback Mike Tew; Phil Clinton on a 41 yard run; Stew Hearse on a fumble recovery in the end zone; Mike Tew on a 27 yard run; Mike Butts on a 4 yard pass from Tew; Clinton again on a 13 yard pass from Tew and Dave Benner with 5 converts. The following week the season came to a crashing halt as the Beefs lost to the Hamilton Hurricanes, 30-3.
Greg Sommerville

Jeff Macaulay

Ken Eady


The season opened with two exhibition losses, 29-7 to the Burlington Braves and 32-9 to the Hamilton Hurricanes. By the end of the regular season, the Beefs were in 5th place in the West Division and out of the playoffs in the 13 team/3 division league. This was the Beef’s first losing season. The last game of the season was a 21-17 loss to Burlington.


The Beefeaters won the season opener 27-0 over the Sarnia Golden Bears. QB Mike Eykens completed 11 of 16 pass attempts, and along with Dave Burns’ 1 for 4, gained 250 yards through the air. Sam Buragina opened the scoring in the first quarter hitting a 24-yard field goal. In the second quarter Eykens completed 2 touchdown passes, 8 yards to Brian Gifford and 65 yards to Tom Cudney. Both were converted by Sam Buragina. Sam added a 22-yard field goal in the third quarter and Bob Tambling completed the scoring with a 56-yard run in the fourth quarter, the touchdown converted by Buragina for his 9th point of the game. On defense, middle linebacker Brian Weaver was singled out for praise. The Beefs began the 1978 season 3-0 and finished with a 6-4 record, losing the last 3 games of the season to Windsor, Hamilton and Burlington by a combined points of108 against and 21 for. In spite of that the Beefs finished in 4th place. At the last game of the regular season, a 14-6 loss to the first place Burlington Braves, the Beefeaters presented their High School Coach of the Year Trophy to Bob Gooder. This last game of the regular season was London High School Coaches Appreciation Day. That year, in the playoffs, the Beefs lost their opening playoff game 26-7 to the Burlington Braves in a rare morning game. The game was played at that time due to limited field availability in Burlington. The only London score of the game came on a 20-yard pass reception by Scott Galpin from Mike Eykens in the fourth quarter. Eykens ended up 18/30 and 252 yards in the game. His top receivers were Tom Cudney 6/90 yards, Dave Sparenburg 5/95 yards and Scott Galpin 2/34 yards and a touchdown. Jason Chorestecki led the rushers with 40 yards on 7 carries.
Scott Galpin

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Jason Chorestecki

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October 3, 1981.  That was the day Ron Almeida scored 30 points, the Beefs defense helped Windsor quarterback Pat Muldoon establish an OFC record by intercepting 7 of his passes, receiver Ron Lyons of Windsor set a record by catching 13 passes which Beefeater Jeff Beraznik tied 10 years later and the Beefs humbled the Frat 49-24.This amazing offensive game also had plenty of defensive spark as well.  The Beefs defense, led by John Talbot, held the Frat to -6 yards rushing on the day.

Offense, however, was where it was at for the Beefs, both on the ground and in the air, as they racked up 456 total yards.  Almeida’s performance was one of the best in OFC history, only surpassed by the 6 touchdowns performance of Bruce Wilkins of the Verdun Maple Leafs in 1975.  Ron caught touchdown passes of 17, 43 and 46 yards from quarterback Tom Borton, kicked field goals of 33 and yards and added 6 converts for his 30 points.

Steve Jackson added a touchdown on a 12 yard pass from Borton, Dave Corbett ran 1 yard for a touchdown following a Dave Small interception and Marius Locke recovered a fumble and went 31 yards for another major.  The Beefs also added a single. 

Overall, quarterback Tom Borton was 15/29 for 279 yards and no interceptions and the Beefs added 177 yards on the ground. For receiving, Almeida was 5/132 yards, Steve Jackson was 3/25, Jason Chorestecki was 2/28, Joe Scott was 1/29, Brian Timmins was 1/19, Dave Corbett 1/5 and John McLellan was 2/31.  On the ground, Matt McConnell led the charge with 65-yard on 5 carries while Jason Chorestecki was 12/41 yards, Dave Corbett was 7/38 yards and Joe Scott was 6/30 yards.

The Beefs led 14-6 after the first quarter, 38-18 at the half and added 7 points to the Frat’s 6 in the third quarter and scored the only 4 points in the final frame.

Helping Pat Muldoon of Windsor establish the record for most passes intercepted in a single game were, besides Dave Small; Marius Locke, Pat McCabe, Steve Williams, Brian Burgess, Pat Harris and Tim Trinier.

Just to be accommodating, the Beefs let Ron Lyons of the Frat establish his Windsor record of 13 receptions.  He gained 209 yards and had 3 touchdowns in the game.

This victory put the Beefs at 4 wins, 3 losses to that point in the season, a season they finished at 5-3 and in 4th place. 

Tom Borton

Dave Small

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Steve Jackson

Brian Timmins

Pat McCabe

Brian Burgess

Pat Harris

Tim Trinier


September 4th, 1982.  That was the day Beefeater quarterback Tim Boyd established an O.F.C. record that would stand unmatched for 13 years.  Tim attempted 54 passes in a game against the Windsor AKO Fratmen and only one other has done the same since, Matt Finley of the Burlington Braves in August of 1995.  In spite of Tim’s efforts, however, the Frat edged the Beefs in an exciting offensive game before an estimated 1000 fans at Beck Field (for younger alumni that’s the London Ed. Centre on Dundas St.)  Tim ended the day 23/54 for 387 yards and 2 touchdowns with the only black mark being 5 interceptions.

The Beefs led the game 10-3 at half time thanks to a Ron Almeida touchdown, an Almeida convert and field goal. 

The third quarter was all Windsor as they built a 23-10 lead on 2 touchdowns by Ron Lyons, 2 converts and a field goal.

In the fourth quarter the Beefs mounted a comeback that would see them take the lead but then relinquish it as time ran out.  Early in the fourth the Beefs worked the ball down to the Windsor 10 yard line.  On the next play Boyd hit Brian Krohn with a 7 yard pass and from the 3, Matt McConnell bulled in for the touchdown which was converted by Almeida.  On the next Windsor series following the touchdown, Beefs linebacker Scott Montgomery intercepted a Pat Muldoon (Windsor QB) pass on the Frat 20 yard line.  The Beefs got the ball to the 8 but a penalty set them back to the 18.  Undaunted, Boyd hit Troy Jarvis for a touchdown and with Almeida’s convert, the Beefs were ahead 24-23.  On the ensuing kick off, which came from the Windsor 50 due to a roughing the kicker penalty on the convert, the Beefs scored a single and went ahead 25-23.  Windsor would not give up, however, and with the ball on their own 37, facing 2nd and 10, Muldoon hit Ron Lyons for a 73 yard touchdown, his third of the day.  The two-point conversion attempt was good and Windsor went up 31-25 and that was the way it ended.

The game was not only a battle between quarterbacks Tim Boyd and Pat Muldoon but also between two all-star receivers, Ron Almeida and Ron Lyons.  Almeida finished with 8 catches for 114 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 field goal and 2 converts while Lyons had 6 catches for 147 yards and 3 touchdowns.  Also of note in the scoring for the Frat was kicker Jerry Kauric who booted 3 field goals, one of 51 yards, and 2 converts.  Many of you may remember Jerry went on to have a fine career in the NFL and the CFL.

Tim Boyd

Ron Almeida

In 1981 Ron Almeida led the OFC in scoring with 109 points. The following season Ron followed up with another outstanding regular season where he scored 104 points. As a result, Ron was named the OFC Outstanding Offensive Player of the Year. In a national vote amongst the then 5 conferences, Ron went on to be named the CJFL’s Outstanding Offensive Player of the Year and received his award in Vancouver at the league's annual meetings and national championship game. Ron is the one and only London Beefeater to be awarded this honour since the team was founded in 1975.



This was the year that Beefeater defensive player, Rod Arquette, set an O.F.C. and C.J.F.L. record for defensive points in a season and was recognized as the Outstanding Defensive Player in both the O.F.C. and in all of junior football in Canada. In 1983, at the C.J.F.L. Annual General Meeting and National Championship, he received the Schenley Football Award. His record of 267 defensive points and 91 Tackles remain on the records books of both leagues. 

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August 8, 1986  Brad Halls established an O.F.C. record in a game best forgotten.  Brad averaged 51.0 yards per kickoff return, including a 91-yard effort for London’s only score in a 63-6 blasting by the powerful Ottawa Sooners. Brad’s record stood until September 15, 2007 when Lenn Gittens of the St. Leonard Cougars averaged 59.7 yards/return on 3 returns.  To put the Beefeater game in perspective, London had 21 yards rushing and 44 passing for a total of 65 yards while Ottawa had 391 yards rushing and 78 passing for 469 total yards.  Sometimes selective memory is a good thing.  
Brad Halls

Jim Lake

Tony Ristine

The Beefs had 3 OFC All-Stars in Brad Halls, Jim Lake, and Tony Ristine. Brad Halls led in Kick Off Returns with 478 yards.


London Free Press - August 15, 1988

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Myke Weis

Scott Miller

Rick Guenther

Beefeater running back Courtney Shand and future World Heavyweight
Boxing Champion, Lennox Lewis, at the 1988 OFC Championship game vs the
Burlington Braves at JPII. Courtney went on to be the champ's personal trainer.


1990 Championship Game: London trailed Windsor 30-15 at the start of the 4th quarter.  When David Woodey kicked a 32-yard field goal with 2:55 left in the game, the Beefs had come all the way back to take a 33-30 lead.  Windsor then scored a touchdown with 59 seconds left to go ahead 37-33.  On the ensuing kickoff, the Beefs took over on their own 39-yard line.  Quarterback Frank Krieshneider completed a pass to Jeff Beraznik who then lateraled to running back Tony Daugherty who got to the Windsor 28-yard line.  On second down, Krieshneider connected with Paul Doerksen who was brought down on the Windsor 1-yard line.  An illegal procedure penalty, however, brought the ball back to the 33.  With a third and 2 at the Windsor 20, Krieschneider’s pass was knocked down and the Beefs’ dreams of an OFC championship were over.  Also noted for great games, besides those already mentioned, were Spero Mantzavarakos, Tom McConnell and Moe Lawrence.  Krieshneider ended up with 20 completions in 37 attempts for 341 yards and three touchdown passes, 52 yards to Tom McConnell, 4 yards to Spero Mantzavarakos and 5 yards to Paul Doerksen as well as a 2-point conversion pass to Moe Lawrence.
Dave Woodey

1990 Team Banquet
(From L-R: Tom McConnell, Tony Daugherty,
Jeff Holland, Spero Mantzavarakos, Gord Grace, Ray Bedard,
Mike Pierotti, Jeff Beraznik and Moe Lawrence)


New Lights at JPII

August 11, 2001

The Beefeaters returned to OFC action, after a two-year hiatus, with a convincing 31-7 victory over the Burlington Braves at Nelson Stadium in Burlington. On the second offensive play of the game, tailback Jason Allison scampered 70 yards on a pitch for the opening touchdown. Quarterback Rob Umbelina converted, as he did on all subsequent TD’s. The Beefeaters next point came on an Umbelina punt that went for a single. Umbelina then completed a 20-yard pass to wide receiver Mark Gregoire to put the Beefs up 15-0.

On a kick-off following a Beefeater safety, Dani Maola ran 72 yards for another Beefeater major to up the score to 24-0.

Later in the 3rd quarter linebacker Paul Testa intercepted a Braves’ pass and returned it 108 yards making the score 31-0.

In the 4th quarter Burlington intercepted a pass and returned it 85 yards for their only score of the game.

Jason Allison

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Rob Umbelina

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Dani Maola

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Paul Testa

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​​​​​​​October 13, 2001-Coach of the Year Nomination for Mike Circelli

August, 2003-Getting Ready for the Home Opener

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August 2009 - The initial Harding Cup

The initial Dave Harding Cup was held in August 2009 and the London Beefeaters defeated the defending OFC champion Burlington Braves, 12-6 at JP II in London.

The game was a tribute to a long-time trainer for both the Braves and the Beefeaters following Dave’s untimely passing. The game was the idea of Braves’ President Larry Irish and Beefeater President George Thomson.

On a hot, steamy afternoon the two teams tangled in an exhibition game with all proceeds going to the Sunshine Foundation.  The Foundation and the Beefeaters were grateful to the Burlington Braves Alumni Association who donated $300 to the Sunshine Foundation for its’ work with children’s wishes.

The game itself saw the defenses dominate which is not unusual for a pre-season game.  London scored three field goals by Zack Medieros.  In addition, Zack boomed a kick-off 84 yards for a single and the Braves conceded a safety.  The Burlington score came on the last play of the first half.  That was yet another example of the success of the prevent defense.

For the Beefs on offense, Aaron Geisler led the team in rushing.  James Morrissey and Blake Lamond shared the quarterbacking duties for the game.  On defense Zack Dean was a force as he had 6 tackles, 4 assists, 2 quarterback sacks and 2 knockdowns.

In the regular season, the Beefs went 4 and 4 and finished 4th. The Beefs lost the OFC Semi-Final 24-10 to the eventual OFC Champion Ottawa Sooners in Ottawa.

George Thomson, holding the Harding Cup, Larry Irish (R) and representatives of the
Sunshine Foundation at the inaugural Harding Cup Game

​​​​​​​2012 - First OFC Championship in Beefs history!

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Beefeaters win the physical war to upset Fratmen for OFC title--the Windsor perspective! 
Kyle Jennings, right, of the Windsor AKO Fratmen loses his helmet after colliding with
Tevin Johnston of the London Beefeaters on Sunday, October 27, 2019, at the
University of Windsor Alumni Stadium. 

Oct 28, 2019  

This was not the ending the Windsor AKO Fratmen had envisioned and it’s one that won’t easily be forgotten.

Miscues and squandered chances dashed the top-seeded Fratmen’s hopes for an Ontario Football Conference title as the London Beefeater handed Windsor its first home loss of the season with a 28-20 win in Sunday’s final at Alumni Field.

“Frustration levels are high right now, but you just have to use it as motivation for next year,” Fratmen receiver Cody Holmes said. “It fuels me. I’m watching these guys celebrate on my field and I’m not taking it too well, but, next year, they’ve got to see me.”

The third-seeded Beefeaters upset Hamilton in the semis to advance to the final and came ready to play on Sunday after splitting two regular-season games with AKO.

“We worked really hard for this and prepared a lot,” said Beefeaters running back Danny Byrne, who is a L’Essor high school grad now at school in London. “It feels good to have it all pay off.”

AKO’s talent flashed on occasion in the game, but the Fratmen simply weren’t consistent enough in all three phases against the Beefeaters.

“In order to win against a good football team like the Fratmen, you have to play good in all three phases,” said Byrne who is an Essex Ravens product. “It’s really a team game and you have to play good in all three phases. We were just trying to be physical. We were trying to win the line of scrimmage. Win the point of attack.

“It’s the third time we’ve played them, we’ve gathered our information on them. We knew we had to be physical. They’re a physical football team and we had to be physical on offence and we executed well and it turned out well for us.”

In the end, it’s that battle to for physical supremacy that AKO head coach Mike LaChance said cost his team.

“They were more physical than we were and we talked about that all week being the more physical team,” LaChance said. “(In the final), we weren’t. They outphysicaled us at the point of attack, both offensively and defensively, and, quite frankly, on special teams, too. Generally speaking, in championship games, that’s who’s going to win is the team that’s more physical and they did a better job of it.”

But LaChance, who is in his 16th season with the club, wasn’t about to pin the loss on his players.

“We’ve lost a few championship games, but I’ve never lost one where I thought we had the better team and I think we had the better team today, which means it’s on me,” LaChance said. “We got outcoached.

“You can’t look at an 18-year-old and say he made a mistake or a young quarterback’s throw was a mistake. At this level, it comes down to coaching and I didn’t have our team prepared. It’s not just on the kids. We have a 50-man roster and a 12-man coaching staff and it’s on everyone.”

After Holmes opened the scoring, the Beefeaters responded with three-straight touchdowns. A Michael Ryan touchdown had the Fratmen to within 21-13 at the half.

Jared Hayes-Williams’ touchdown catch got the Fratmen to within eight points midway through the final quarter, but miscues proved costly down the stretch.

“We had over 400 yards offence,” LaChance said. “I think we moved the ball pretty cleanly. We still had chances to win the game in the end. We had four possessions in the last five minutes of the game and we just made silly mistakes.”

So, all the Fratmen could do was watch the Beefeaters savour the victory while looking at an off-season that Holmes hopes provides motivation.

“Tough man, it sucks,” Holmes said. “Tough L (loss), but it is what it is and lock and load and get ready for next year.

“Watch them celebrate. That’s all I can say. They’re celebrating on our field. (For me), second place is a fail. We didn’t win, that’s it. So, that’s motivation for us.”

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Beefeaters have earned share of London's football spotlight!

London Free Press Article - November 22, 2021

Right now, London is the football capital of Canada.

The Western Mustangs shut out Queen’s for their 33rd Yates Cup title Saturday and are one of four university teams left in the hunt for the Vanier Cup.

On the same night, the London Beefeaters made history by qualifying for the franchise’s first Canadian Bowl in stunning the St. Clair Fratmen for a second straight Ontario Football Conference crown. The Beefs were trailing the unbeaten favourites 14-0 on the road with two minutes left and rallied for an improbable one-point victory.

Nick Samis recovered a bad snap on a Fratmen punt attempt in the end zone for a touchdown, then the London defence held for a quick two-and-out. The Beefeaters took possession with 66 seconds left at the St. Clair 53-yard line and quarterback Clarke McCallum found Spencer Foster for the game-tying score.

Incredibly, the Fratmen fumbled the kickoff return and the Beefs took possession on the 18-yard line with 45 seconds left. London kicker Leo Centeno punted through the back of the end zone as time expired for a single point and a once-in-a-lifetime comeback win.

It was the Beefs’ first win in three tries against St. Clair this season.

“It’s amazing,” Beefeaters treasurer and registrar Jennifer Annen said. “I’m so incredibly proud of our team. It seems like every week there was something but they stuck with it and believed in it and said let’s do this. Everyone was so thankful to be on the field again but it wasn’t without its challenges.”

There are still a few things to tackle before the Langley Rams visit London for the national championship Saturday, Dec. 4. The most prominent is location.

The Beefeaters have City Wide Sports Park booked and it’s been a great facility that has met the team’s needs for the regular season and playoff semifinal. But it doesn’t have proper change rooms for two football teams, no press box and limited bleacher capacity.

Throughout the schedule, London offered the larger change room to the visiting team and had the bulk of its roster dress in donated tents at a time when the weather was nicer.

The only suitable space in the city for a national title game, of course, is Western Alumni Stadium. That’s where the Beefs played the Saskatoon Hilltops in the Canadian Junior Football League semi-final two years ago.

Since the Vanier Cup is on the same day at Laval, the Mustangs won’t need their facility at that point, anyway. Western’s final home game will be in the Mitchell Bowl Saturday against unbeaten Atlantic champ St. Francis Xavier.

The university has, from early in the pandemic, operated with strict COVID protocols on campus and limited the use of its sports venues to community partners. That’s the roadblock every organization that normally plays or trains at the school has faced – the most obvious example being Olympic decathlon champ Damian Warner, who spent last winter preparing for Tokyo at the ancient Farquharson Arena in Old South .

The Canadian Bowl is a scaled-down version this year. There isn’t a banquet of champions and the CJFL annual general meeting isn’t being held here in-person. All the players and coaches on the two teams have to be double vaccinated and the mandate for spectators would be the same. The protocols won’t be any different than Western’s football game days.

The stadium was originally built with the idea that London’s showcase outdoor events, especially for football, would be played there.

That should hold true for the Beefeaters and the city’s first shot at a Canadian Bowl.

There is only a few days left to get this right. A city with enough success to call itself football’s “national capital” would find a way to make it happen.