|Birth: ||Feb. 16, 1928|
|Death: ||Dec. 10, 2002|
Professional hockey player, priest and a founder of the Flying Fathers hockey team. Father Les Costello was born in South Porcupine, Ontario but earned his fame on a wider stage. As a hockey player he had success with the St. Michael's College School Majors by winning the Memorial Cup in 1945 and 1947. Upon graduating Costello turned professional and split time from 1947-50 between the American Hockey League's Pittsburgh Hornets and the National Hockey League's Toronto Maple Leafs. Les left this boyhood dream behind to join the priesthood. As Father Costello, he exhibited a light touch with his parish work. That light touch and sense of humour led him to the creation of the Flying Fathers. The Fathers, made up of parish priests, began touring Canada and then further afield as comedic ambassadors, raising money for charity as they travelled. In 1970 their travels led them to an audience with the Pope. Father Costello, an avid hunter, drew Hollywood attention in 1979 when he survived a 28 hour ordeal and lost eight toes to frostbite following a hunting trip. Costello's story was optioned by director Francis Ford Coppola but the project died when Wayne Gretzky failed a screen test for the starring role. He continued skating with the Flying Fathers in spite of his amputations. In 2002, Costello was injured during a game in Kincardine, Ontario. Three nights later the Flying Father entertained the crowd at Peterborough, Ontario, but it was to be Father Les Costello's last performance. After the game he collapsed and was taken to hospital, where he lapsed into a coma and died. All told, Father Costello aided in raising millions of dollars for charity by combining the two loves of his life: God and hockey.
Created by: 1weasel
Record added: May 17, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 14310343