The Story of the Grand Challenge Cup

Conserving and Celebrating British Columbia's Soccer Heritage

Friends of Harry Manson

The Grand Challenge Cup of the Nanaimo Football Association is a beautiful artifact of soccer history.  Canada’s oldest provincial championship trophy, the original British Columbia FA Cup predates its more famous hockey counterpart, the Stanley Cup.  This 36-inch high, quadruple plate trophy was manufactured by the Toronto Silver Plate Co., Limited, in 1891.

The Grand Challenge Cup was first awarded to the B.C. soccer champions in 1892, when it was won by the Nanaimo Rangers. The Cup continued as B.C.’s top soccer prize until 1904, after which it was awarded annually to winners of the Upper Island championship.  This continued until 1925, when teams from Ladysmith, Nanaimo and Cumberland decided to merge with several mainland teams to form the Pacific Coast League.  For a list of past Grand Challenge Cup champions, see Appendix 1.