The Current

The story of Harry Manson, the first aboriginal person to be inducted into the Soccer Hall of Fame

Harry Manson is the first aboriginal soccer player to be inducted into our National Soccer Hall of Fame; a pioneer of the sport.
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It's been a hundred years since Canada's first aboriginal soccer star stormed onto the pitch. Harry 'Xulsimalt' Manson was a member of the Snuneymuxw First Nation on Vancouver Island. He was talented, subjected to racism and later faded into history. This weekend, he will be inducted into the Soccer Hall of Fame.

Harry Manson transcended racial prejudice on the soccer pitch at turn of 19th century -- Duncan McCue, CBC News


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"Soccer is in our blood." Harry Mason (BC Archives)

This weekend, a man you've likely never heard of joins the athletic immortals in the National Soccer Hall of Fame. Harry Xulsimalt Manson was a pioneering soccer star more than a hundred years ago. He was also a member of the Snuneymuxw First Nation on Vancouver Island ... near Nanaimo. He will be the first aboriginal player to receive this honour.

Subjected to racism and later obscurity... Manson's story was unearthed and championed by an unlikely researcher. Robert Janning's interest not only brought Manson's legacy to light - but it spawned a surprising friendship.

CBC's Jean Paetkau in Victoria spoke with Robert Janning and to Harry Manson's grandson, Gary, and brings us the documentary, Lost and Found.

For more top stories visit CBC Aboriginal

Lost and Found featured the voices of Robert Janning and Gary Manson - the grandson of Harry Manson - who will be inducted into the Soccer Hall of Fame in Vaughan, Ontario tomorrow.

Thanks too to the CBC's Keith Vass who voiced the archival newspaper articles.

Tune in to The National tonight for another bit of this story ....Duncan McCue gets a sneak peek at an amazing artifact from BC's soccer past, and finds out how Robert Janning and the Manson family plan to use it to honour their ancestor.

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