Brian Philley

Brian Philley (15 August 1926 – 30 August 2002) is a former Canadian soccer player. He was a two-time national champion with Vancouver City FC (known as Hale-Co FC in 1956) and Westminster Royals FC (1960). He was Canada's starting inside forward or centre forward during FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in 1957.[1] He is an honoured member of the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame.

Brian Philley
Personal information
Full name John Brian Philley
Date of birth (1926-08-15)15 August 1926
Place of birth Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Date of death 30 August 2002(2002-08-30) (aged 76)
Place of death Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Height 178 cm (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Inside Forward, Centre Forward
Youth career
Vancouver St. Joseph's
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1942–1943 Vancouver St. Andrews FC
1943–1944 North Shore United FC
1944–1948 Vancouver St. Saviours / City
1948–1950 Vancouver St. Andrews FC
1950–1951 North Shore United FC
1950–1957 Vancouver City / Hale-Co
1958 Vancouver St. Andrews FC
1959 Vancouver City / Hale-Co
1959–1961 Westminster Royals FC
1962–1963 Canadians (Vancouver City FC)
National team
1957 Canada 4 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

In the Pacific Coast League, Philley won five championships with three clubs: three times with Vancouver City (1944-45 St. Saviours, 1953–54 City, 1962-63 Canadians), once with St. Andrews FC (1949–50), and once with Westminster (1960–61). He was a regular all-star selection, representing British Columbia or Vancouver in eight of 14 seasons from 1945-46 to 1958-59. He notably scored against Tottenham Hotspur in a 2-0 win in Vancouver on 3 June 1957.

Brian was just 16 years old when he made his Pacific Coast league debut on 20 May 1943, coming in as a substitute and scoring once in St. Andrews FC's 4-5 loss to St. Saviours. Across 20 Pacific Coast League seasons, he scored 114 goals, notably finishing as league runner up in 1948-49 (when he scored a career-high 15 goals) and 1949-50 (13 goals). Over the course of one decade, he was the Pacific Coast league's joint second-highest scorer in the 1950s with 66 goals.

In 1953, he played in a North American championship match on loan with Westminster Royals FC, helping the Canadian club win the Jack Diamond Trophy over the Chicago Falcons.[2]

When he retired from soccer he became a referee and a member of the board of directors of the B.C. Soccer Association. He was inducted into the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame in 1997.


Brian's brother Pat Philley also played in the Pacific Coast League and was likewise honoured by the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame. While the two brothers often played for different teams, they were both part of Vancouver City's 1953-54 championship team. The brothers also played together for Vancouver St. Andrews FC in 1958,[3] on several provincial all-star teams, and for Canada in 1956 and 1957.


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