Toronto Canadian Belles
Based on the following article:
Paredo, Sandra. "They're Canada's Only Ladies' Professional Football Team. (And last year they won the world championship.) Canadian Magazine (supplement in Saturday Ottawa Citizen newspaper) August 29, 1970: 6-7.
- Team colors: maroon and gold (?)
- Head Coach: Fred Robinson, who played for the NFL's Cleveland Browns and the CFL's Toronto Argonauts.
- Inaugural season: 1969. That year the Belles won seven of their eight games.
- In the 1969 season, the Canadian Belles played two games in Toronto, one game in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and five games in Cleveland and Pittsburgh versus teams such as the Cleveland USA Daredevils, the Pittsburgh All Stars and the Detroit Petticoats. Per game gate receipts, which averaged $1800 in 1969, were used toward the players' equipment and salaries.
- The Canadian Belles were part of a group of women's tackle football teams organized by Mr. Sid Friedman of Cleveland's All-Star Theatrical Agency.
- Players on the Canadian Belles ranged in age from 18 to 38 years.
- During the 1969 season, one short women's tackle football game was staged during halftime of an Ottawa Rough Riders CFL home game.
- The Canadian Belles roster consisted of 30 players, 25 of whom dressed for games. Here are some of the players:
- Maryan Billyea, quarterback;
- Kathy (no last name given), who was a defensive tackle;
- Lynda Johnson, halfback;
- Diane Thompson, fullback, who was new to the team in 1970.
- Several of the Canadian Belles also played softball or other sports and declined to be paid for football for fear of losing their amateur status in those other sports.
- Said quarterback Maryan Billyea of the team: "The other teams are bigger than us, but Toronto's fast. That's probably why we won so many games. . ."
- The Canadian Belles' game plan heavily emphasized running, particularly end runs.
- In 1970, the Canadian Belles were considering changing their name to the Toronto Trojans.
- The Canadian Belles used the following Sid Friedman-designed ad line to promote their team:
ATTENTION! Do you need money? FUNDS for a new hospital room . . .another fire engine . . .band uniforms . . .fire victims? A PROVEN FUND RAISING ATTRACTION . . .the only all-girl professional football teams in the world!
NOTE: If you have any further information about the Canadian Belles or any other Canadian-based women's tackle football team of the early 1970s, please let me know. Thank you.