The Return of Peacetime Football

Varsity Blues at UWO, circa 1947

The Western Mustangs vs. the University of Toronto's Varsity Blues at Western's JW Little Memorial Stadium, circa 1947. The late 1940s saw an intense rivalry between the Mustangs and the Blues.

Western went undefeated in the shortened 1945 football season. Full athletic activities officially restarted the following year. Under coaches John Metras and Hugh “Red” Douglas, both the senior intercollegiate team, the Mustangs, and the intermediate intercollegiate team, the Colts, were undefeated in their league games of 1946. The Mustangs remained undefeated in 1947. Player Bob McFarlane alone scored sixty points in six games. These victories came at the cost of many injuries, but all involved agreed that the wounds were not in vain. The Mustangs’ winning streak ended on November 13, 1948, when a sudden loss to Toronto sparked one of the tensest playoff games in the team’s history. The week before the next match included fundraisers to defray the cost of two special trains to Toronto and rooms at the Royal York Hotel, the sale of “Trample Toronto” souvenirs, and a send-off from London’s mayor. Unfortunately, the Western fans who travelled to Toronto were disappointed by Varsity’s 18-7 win.