Les Costello

South Porcupine Ontario's Les Costello was a speedy 5'8" 158lb left wing who grew up dreaming for playing with the Toronto Maple Leafs. But when he played for the Leafs, he found a greater calling.

Costello joined the famous St. Michaels college where he studied and played hockey under the legendary Father David Bauer. The team was greatly successful, winning the Memorial Cup in both 1945 and 1947, but Father Bauer's teachings away from the rink influenced Costello even more so than on the ice.

After graduating from St. Michaels, he joined the Leaf's farm team in the AHL - the Pittsburgh Hornets. He starred with the Hornets in his first pro season, scoring 32 goals and 54 points in 68 games.

By season's end he was called up by the Leafs to help out in their 1948 playoff run. Costello appeared in 5 games and scored twice and added 2 assists. He also got his name on the Stanley Cup.

Costello would appear in 15 games with the Leafs the following season, but spent most of the year in the minors once again. He would also spent the 1949-50 season with the AHL's Hornets, though was again called up by the Leafs for the playoffs. This time, however, he appeared in only 1 game.

Costello then retired from pro hockey and began seminary studies, successfully becoming a Catholic priest. His studies first saw him return to St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto and later at St. Augustine's seminary. He was ordained in 1957 and served parishes in South Porcupine, Kirkland Lake and Timmins, before settling at St. Alphonsus parish in Schumacher, which is now part of Timmins.

But his love of hockey never subsided. He would continue to play with a group of priests known as the Flying Fathers. The team would play against amateur squads and NHL old-timers from coast to coast and overseas, and raised over $4 million for charity.

By the way, a 74 year old Costello died tragically in 2002 following complications from a puck to the head injury during a Flying Fathers game. 2200 people came to his funeral in Timmins, Ontario, fittingly held at a hockey rink. 


Derek 12:02 PM  

I was going thru some old boxes I found in my basement. In one box I found 30 pics of players from the years 1946 thru 1949. All pics are either Toronto, Chicago or Detroit. The pics are all autographed(not by hand). Turk Broda, Gordie Howe, Les Costello, Jim Henry, Ted Lindsay, Howie Meeker just to name a few. I have no idea who made them or where my Dad got them. Any idea how I can find out where they came from and if they are valuable? Thanks so much in advance.

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