John Russell settled in Vancouver in 1905 and became one of Canada’s leading soccer administrators. He dedicated over fifty years to the game as a player, builder, and administrator. While in the position of business manager for the Vancouver Province newspaper, Russell was responsible for the organization of the newspaper’s “Bluebirds” basketball, softball, and lacrosse teams.
In 1907, Russell played soccer with the Vancouver Athletic Club in the Vancouver & District Amateur Soccer League and later became the club’s secretary.
He served on the executive of the Vancouver & District Referees Association, the Lower Mainland Football Association, and the BC Football Association. In 1920, he was elected president of the latter organization.
Significantly, Russell was a founding member in 1912 of the Dominion Football Association, forerunner of the Canadian Soccer Football Association. He was also the organization’s president from 1926-31, the longest term ever served by one man.
Russell served on the BC Soccer Commission for twenty-four years. He was made an honourary life member upon his retirement in 1958.
It was Russell who inaugurated the “Vancouver Daily Province Cup” for senior soccer provincial championship teams in 1921.