MONTREAL – What would happen if the Dunsmore Cup was renamed the Dussault Cup? This idea would allow the most prestigious trophy in Quebec football to finally bear a name representative of the province.
At the end of November, A petition has been launched on this topic. by the Montagnards – the group of supporters of the University of Montreal Carbines – and its president Éric Généreux. Without enjoying media visibility, this petition has already accumulated more than 1,300 signatures.
“We’re in touch with a lot of people and at one point before the 2023 Dunsmore Cup someone asked, ‘So who is Dunsmore?’ », Généreux began to explain the project.
“We began to scratch a little to realize that this Mr. Dunsmore has almost no connection with Quebec soccer. Then we discovered that it was not very relevant,” Généreux added.
Robert L. Dunsmore graduated from Queen’s University, Ontario. The Dunsmore Cup was awarded, for the first time, in 1980, to the champion of the Ontario-Quebec division at that time. But since 2001, Queen’s and the University of Ottawa have abandoned this division.
“It’s been more than 20 years and the trophy still bears the name of a Queen’s alumnus,” Généreux said.
Josh Bourke, Lloyd Fairbanks, John Bowman, Larry Smith, Jacques Dussault and Larry CrawfordWithout having to think about three boats, the name of Jacques Dussault was proposed to rename the trophy. A gesture that would be more than appropriate since Dussault was inducted into the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame in 2023.
“If we had to name a person who had an impact on Quebec soccer, it would be Jacques Dussault. It seems obvious. Just think about his entire journey, about the importance of man’s work,” relates Généreux, while Dussault plays a pioneering role in demonstrating that French speakers from Quebec can occupy great positions even outside of Canada.
When we surveyed Dussault for his opinion, he had one priority above all else in mind.
“It is very important that we end up giving this trophy a French-speaking name. And I don’t necessarily mean mine. I think we’ve gotten there. Dunsmore, that means absolutely nothing to me and I’m not the only one in Quebec (who thinks like that),” mentioned the man who dedicated more than 50 years of his life to football.
“We would have to resort to the backbone to put a French-speaking name on this trophy. Quebec football has undergone a great change over time and this would be one of the next steps. I don’t have the numbers, but it’s been a long time since this cup has been played between two French-speaking universities,” added Dussault, although it dates back to 2008, when Concordia University was last present in this match.
Although he is known for his humility, the 73-year-old admitted it would warm his heart.
“It would be a lie to say that it wouldn’t make me happy. As the years go by, we become a little more sensitive to these things. It will surely be a very special moment for me,” confesses Dussault, who remembers that this idea had already been raised by Jean-Charles Lajoie.
Listening to him, we realize that this honor would be precious because of his Quebec character. He smiled when talking about his induction into the Hall of Fame in Hamilton. A moment that reminded him that “the old proverb ‘No one is a prophet in his own country’ does not exist in vain.”
The issue will be addressed by the RSEQ
To carry out this change, a majority vote of the five Quebec university institutions that make up the division of the RSEQ (Quebec Student Sports Network) is of course required.
“I have already sent the petition to its president, Mr. Roel, to tell him that it is circulating and that we believe it is relevant considering how far Quebec university football has come. “I’m not taking anything away from Mr. Dunsmore, it’s just that his inheritance has no ties to Quebec,” he clarified, knowing that such a decision does not materialize overnight.
Had the RSEQ not responded to the email sent by Généreux, the organization confirmed to RDS.ca that the project would be discussed next week in a meeting with the universities of Concordia, Laval, McGill, Montreal and Sherbrooke.
“We are aware, a bit like everyone else in the football community. It is circulating and some of our member establishments have asked us about it,” commented Benoit Doloreux, director of the university sector of the RSEQ.
“We will certainly address the issue during our meeting, but it is a decision for our members,” he added.
Without wanting to speak for university athletic directors, Doloreux acknowledges that the appeal of the Dussault name would be stronger.
“It is true that the connection with the name Dussault is more visceral, direct and emotional. That said, it is a trophy that has been awarded for several decades and to which a tradition is attributed. We will see what decision our sports directors will make,” said Doloreux.
Let us remember that in 2002, Canadian universities decided to abandon the Churchill Cup name and replace it with the Uteck Cup, the trophy awarded to the winner of the Eastern semifinals.
What’s more, the idea of updating the Dunsmore Cup had been discussed before the pandemic, but COVID-19 imposed other priorities.
Quebec fans would have to get used to it
Interestingly, although some fans will not laugh at it, Généreux realized that the name Jacques Dussault would not appeal to everyone.
“I remember that the supporters of the Red and Gold, when we proposed this name, it was as if we had blasphemed against them. They simply see the association with the Carabineros. But he did much more than that, he was only four years in the Carabineros,” stated Généreux.
“I’m originally from Quebec, I learned to play soccer in Quebec and I grew up there. One of my first coaching jobs was at a high school in Quebec,” Dussault recalls.
His career includes participation on high school, college, university and professional teams (the Alouettes and the Montreal Machine) in Canada, the United States and France.