Father Les Costello, was born in South Porcupine and played hockey here as a teenager, eventually joining Toronto St. Michael’s Majors in the ‘40s, winning two Memorial Cups in 1945 and 1947. He subsequently played two years in the NHL for the Toronto Maple Leafs, including the 1948 Stanley Cup team.
He retired from professional hockey in 1950 to pursue seminary studies, but did not hang up his skates. In 1963, he co-founded the Flying Fathers, a group of Catholic priests who played exhibition hockey. Originally intended as a one time charity event, the Fathers became a touring phenomenon like the Harlem Globetrotters, regularly touring North America.
There has been a push to have him inducted in to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Ken Campbell of the Hockey News argues “Costello deserves to be inducted in the Hockey Hall because when you think about it, no man has ever used the game for a more noble purpose”.
Father Les was injured in a Flying Fathers hockey game and passed away in 2002. His funeral was held in the McIntyre Arena. A man who used sport to advance the causes of social justice and charity. A Timmins Legend!