How a Preston man gave ice hockey the Stanley Cup

Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown hoists the Stanley Cup after the Kings beat the New Jersey Devils 6-1 during Game 6 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup finals, Monday, June 11, 2012, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown hoists the Stanley Cup after the Kings beat the New Jersey Devils 6-1 during Game 6 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup finals, Monday, June 11, 2012, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

A former Preston MP, who went on to become Governor General of Canada, has been immortalised for the donation of the most prestigious trophy in world ice hockey.

Frederick Stanley, known as Lord Stanley of Preston, was the Conservative MP for Preston between 1865 and 1868 before presenting the Stanley Cup to Canada in 1892.

Lord Stanley, Preston Guild Mayor 1902
Lord Stanley the Earl of Derby

Lord Stanley, Preston Guild Mayor 1902 Lord Stanley the Earl of Derby

The cup is the championship trophy awarded annually to the National Hockey League playoff winner and the monument has been erected as part of a ground breaking ceremony to mark he 125th anniversary of Lord Stanley’s gift - March 18.

A team from Montreal was chosen out of eight finalists to design the monument and it has been donated to Canada’s capital city of Ottawa, also where Lord Stanley’s children grew up.

The monument is a 3.45m -high chalice made from silvered aluminium bands that visitors can peer through to get framed views of the National War Memorial.

It sits on a white paved ‘hockey rink’ with embedded stainless steel lines evoking skate marks and 39 granite discs engraved with the names of Stanley Cup winners from 1893 to 2017.

Lord Stanley The Earl of Derby 1895
Was Preston Guild Mayor in 1902

Lord Stanley The Earl of Derby 1895 Was Preston Guild Mayor in 1902

A black granite bench in the form of a hockey puck completes the monument.

Doctor David Dennis, who was born in Deepdale, Preston but now lives in Kingston near Ottawa in Canada, said: “The cup is adored in Canada but I don’t think lots of people from Preston know about it.

“I talked about Lord Stanley when I was presented with a lifetime achievement award for my work in plant biochemistry and biotechnology. I’ve been here since 1968 and often find people don’t know why Preston had such a big influence on one of the most popular sports in America and Canada.

“I think the people of Preston should be proud to be associated with something which is so important over here.”

It will be officially unveiled in December 2017 as part of the 150th anniversary of Confederation, the 125th anniversary of the Stanley Cup, the 100th anniversary of the National Hockey League (NHL) and the 25th anniversary of the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club.

Lord Stanley died in Kent 16 years after donating the cup on June 14 in 1908 at the age of 67.