The Saskatoon United Soccer Club, now in is 54th year, is being honored by the Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame as the sports organization of the year.
Formed April 13, 1954, during a meeting at the KG Hotel, United is the oldest existing soccer club in Saskatchewan.
Initially a men's team, the organization has developed to include age class programs for both males and females.
The United men's team was the first club in the province to win the Saskatchewan Shield as provincial champions for three consecutive years -- from 1975 to 1977 -- and in 1982, won silver at the Challenge Cup national championship, matching a team from 1934 for the best-ever finish by a Saskatchewan club. Since 1984, 11 United female teams have represented Saskatchewan at nationals.
Notable members in United history include Ray Jones, Doug Knott, Dave Newsham and former Canadian Soccer Association president Andy Sharpe, all inducted into the Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame, and Huw Morris, the second coach from Saskatchewan to attain an A level coaching certificate, the highest level.
"I recently received a letter from Don Anweiler in Iceland," said Terry Matheson, the president of the SUSC. "He had been watching a match on TV between Manchester United and Roma. He said it brought back memories of when he played for Saskatoon United in the '60s and '70s with Al Day, Andy Sharpe, Eddie Smith, Peter Smith and Dieter Braun.
"Anweiler found our website and sent off a letter to see if it was still the same club. This is the passion of Saskatoon United."
A plaque will be presented to the Saskatoon United Soccer Club, recognizing it as the sports organization of the year, at the Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame annual induction ceremony Nov. 1 at TCU Place.
Previously honoured as sports organization of the year were the Saskatchewan Knights of Columbus Indoor Games in 2005, the Kinsmen Club of Saskatoon in 2006 and the Lions Speed Skating Club in 2007.
© The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) 2008