LU is in finals for storied cup

The Pakenham Cup is the “Granddaddy” of soccer cups in Canada. 

Fred Pakenham of Mission donated the ornate silver cup for challenge competition in 1909. It was then one of Pakenham’s prized possessions, having been given to the Pakenham family much earlier by King George III of England.

Competition was encouraged amongst the Fraser Valley teams east of New Westminster, Mission City was selected as the site for each Cup Final.

In this year’s semifinal at Langley’s Willoughby Park, the Langley United Premier squad won against Aldergrove United. The second match was Abbots Magnuson Ford Utd and the winning PMO Lordco Gunners.

With 3-1 win, Langley United Premier is in the final of the Pakenham Cup March 29 in Port Moody.

The Pakenham Cup is now famous, not only for being the oldest cup still in competition, but also for its habit of getting lost.

During its existence as a soccer cup, it has been out of circulation for a total of 32 years. It disappeared the first time after the 1927 season and finally showed up 21 years later in a secondhand store.

It disappeared again after the 1965 competition. At that time, most of the Fraser Valley teams east of New Westminster played in a separate division of the Mainland League. A few Valley teams played in the Mainland League.

The 1965 Cup Winners, Port Coquitlam, was one such team. When the Fraser Valley Soccer League was officially formed the same year, Port Coquitlam refused to switch to the Valley League. When the Valley asked for the cup to be returned for the 1966 competition, Port Coquitlam hid the Cup and rumored that the Pakenham, along with the Bradner Cup, had been stolen by vandals from the trophy case at the Commercial Hotel. Somehow the Bradner Cup reappeared in time for the 1966 presentation, but the Pakenham Cup could not be traced.

When the Valley League insisted on a replacement, Don March, who headed a second Port Coquitlam team in the Valley League, purchased a substitute which was presented annually from 1966 to 1971, in place of the original Pakenham Cup.

In 1972, almost as mysteriously as it had disappeared, the Pakenham Cup reappeared, recovered by Don March, who promptly returned it to the Valley. Arthur Pakenham, of Seattle, personally presented the cup that year.

Anyone lucky enough to get a close look at the cup will notice there were two winners in 1951. The reason is the longest Pakenham Final on record, lasting well over four hours. After a full game and three overtime periods, Bradner and Mission called it a draw, sharing honours.

The competition was not held 1915-1920, the war years.

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