After Western rushed out of the gate and won a football championship (1931) within three years of joining Senior Intercollegiate competition, the program would need until 1939, the last season before intercollegiate competition shut down for WWII, to win their next. The Mustangs would win the Yates Cup in style, however, going 6-0 to record their first undefeated season in senior competition. The following recap has been lifted from the 1940 Occidentalia.

“Nineteen-Thirty-Nine was a big rugby year at Western. It gave us our first championship since 1931. Every one of us who took part in the games thoroughly enjoyed the immense satisfaction of belonging to a championship squad. We also truly appreciated the support given us by the students of this University In our championship drive. It is our earnest hope that the 1940 team may play a repeat performance and once more bring the Yates Trophy to rest at Western. To my successor, Claude Moore, captain of the 1940 squad, I wish all good fortune. I know he will lead the team on to the top in the campaign next fall” — Alf Hurley, 1940 Occidentalia

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In the first game of the 1939 schedule, the Mustangs romped to a 32-17 victory over Queen’s. This game was outstanding: Captain Hurley played the first of six sixty-minute games; the Mustangs showed that they could come from behind to finish in a blaze of glory; the fame of Western’s backfield and her sturdy line made the headlines.


“1939 was the year the Mustangs broke the Jinx of the Varsity Bowl” — thus it will be written in the history books! The vaunted Varsity Beavers took a drubbing to the tune of 23-5. The brilliant generalship of Captain Alf Hurley was in no small way responsible for the glowing victory.

LONDON, OCTOBER 21. 1939  

The third game and the third victory of the all-conquering Mustangs was played at the expense of the Big Red Team from McGill. After the usual slow start the boys piled up a 25-7 score to preserve the untied-unbeaten record of Bill Storen’s unbeatable Mustangs.


The first McGill game was one of the closest that the Mustangs played. The heavy McGill line was a constant worry to the Mustang rooters. A pass from Krol to Moore for a total gain of 65 yards was the highlight. As the final whistle blew, the scoreboard read 8-1 for another Mustang victory.


A record attendance of over 7,000 spectators saw the Mustangs whip the Beavers 15-1 on the occasion of the annual Varsity exodus to London. The flicker-dicker plays of Western’s renowned backfield, protected by an invincible front wall, kept the spectators on the alert for the unexpected.


The last chapter of the 1939 rugby season doted with a thrilling win over Queen’s 13-8. With three minutes to go in the last quarter the score was 7-8 for Queen’s; Moore blocked a Queen’s punt on the five-yard line — Oliphant romped over to make it 13-8 for Western. The Mustangs had won their second intercollegiate title.

Featured Team: 1939 Senior Football