MARKUS GAUSS SOCCER BUILDER
TORONTO—Wednesday, December 22
A pioneer in soccer in Southwestern Ontario hits the three-quarter mark on Thursday.Markus (Max) Gauss, who brought the original London professional soccer franchise to the National Soccer League in 1969 to be one of the builders of soccer in that part of the province, and is the only president the London club has ever known, will be 75. The National Soccer League was launched in the lean and turbulent years of the 1920s yet it stood the test of time more than any other professional league in North America. The NSL is the forerunner of the Canadian National Soccer League and today’s Canadian Professional Soccer League. London City is a member of the CPSL and Markus’ son, Harry Paul Gauss, is its general manager.Markus Gauss was born of German parents at Filipovo in the former Yugoslavia on December 23, 1929. The Gauss family, Markus, his wife and two sons emigrated from Germany to Canada in 1958 and made their way from the arrival point in Montreal to Winnipeg, Manitoba, where they lived for six months before heading east and settling in Southwestern Ontario.Markus Gauss immediately saw the ideal amenities of the German-Canadian Club on Cove Road in London as perfect for a professional soccer franchise. Launched as London German Canadians, the team was a top draw at home and away, with most of the away games being at Stanley Park in Toronto’s west end where attendances of 6,000 to 8,000 were commonplace.London German Canadians and the more recent London City, founded on St. Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1973, have given professional soccer and The Cove a place of some prominence in Southwestern Ontario for more than 30 years and today the club is seen as the ideal soccer environment, a point at which talented youth can quickly gain the conditioning and toughness necessary for a chance at the big time.The Canadian Professional Soccer League salutes Markus Gauss this holiday season, for his vision in setting the stage many years ago. It is little wonder he is so often referred to as the godfather of professional soccer in this southwestern region of the province.