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‘Flying Father’ founder honoured in Timmins


Father Les Costello, the late Catholic priest who played for the Toronto Maple Leafs and was a teammate of Bill Barilko, was honoured Wednesday with a statue in his hometown of Timmins.

The statue was unveiled in the Timmins Sports Heritage Hall of Fame, replacing one that was broken last year.

Costello was also a co-founder of the ‘Flying Fathers’ hockey team, which was a way to raise money for charity. He played with that team until his death at the age of 74 in 2002 after sustaining a head injury during a game.

Costello and the team had raised more than $4 million in 40 years for many groups, such as the Dare Program and local minor hockey.

Costello’s nephew and niece said Wednesday he wasn’t one for fanfare, but they are pleased his legacy is being honoured.

“He was very giving,” said Corinne Costello, his niece.

“Everything he did, he did in caring,” added his nephew, John Costello.

“He gave to the community. He gave to all the people in the community, and it was very important to him.”

Ed Pupich from the Timmins Sports Heritage Hall of Fame said they have some items in their collection.

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“We have a flying father's sweater, I think we have his skates and so on,” Pupich said.

“We have the pontoon for the Bill Barilko. So it'll be a display under lock and key, we hope.

Officials said the statue and other historic items will be on a pedestal in the McIntyre Community Centre’s main entrance. Top Stories

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