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The Packenham Cup

Courtesy of The Fraser Valley Soccer League

The Pakenham Cup is the "Grand daddy" of soccer cups competed for in Canada. Mr. Fred Pakenham of Mission donated this exquisite silver cup for challenge competition in 1909. It was then one of Mr. Pakenham’s prized possessions, having been given to the Pakenham family much earlier by King George III of England. Competition was encouraged amongst the Valley teams east of New Westminster, Mission City was selected as the site for each Cup Final.

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 thirty-two years. It disappeared the first time after the 1927 season and finally showed up twenty-one years later in a second-hand 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 itself. 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 over 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 cup which was presented annually for the next six years, 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 who is lucky enough to get a close look at the Pakenham Cup, will notice the two winners in 1951. The reason is the longest Pakenham Final on record, a game lasting well over four hours. After a full game and three overtime periods, Bradner and Mission decided to call it a draw and to share honors.

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


The Packenham Cup (Richard Howes)

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