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Pioneer - Len Peto

2011 Len PetoBorn: London, England, June 25, 1890. Died: Solano County,
California, November 10, 1985.

Len Peto came to Canada in 1912 and joined the staff of the Canadian Car and Foundry Company in Montreal, eventually rising to the position of Vice President and Managing Director. It was also shortly after his arrival in Canada that he joined the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association (MAAA). During his soccer career in Montreal he played in goal and was a member of the Montreal AllStar team that played in the Carls Rite Cup game against the Toronto AllStars in 1915. After sustaining a knee injury that would end his playing days, he turned to the organizational and administrational side of the game. In 1923 he became the man behind Montreal Carsteel, one of the greatest teams in Canadian soccer history. During the turbulent years of the 1920's Peto was involved with the InterProvincial League and then helped form the National Soccer League in 1926, becoming its first president. The National Soccer League was Canada's first real professional soccer league and Peto held the position of president for 10 years. In 1935, he was elected President of the Dominion of Canada Football Association (today's Canadian Soccer Association) a position he held until September 1939 when he announced that he would not seek reelection. In the years that followed he became involved in hockey and 1940 was invited by Senator Donat Raymond to join the Board of Directors of the Canadian Arena Company. This led to his becoming one of a three man committee directing operations of the Montreal Canadiens, when the club was taken over by Forum interests from private ownership. In 1944 he was manager of the Canadiens team that won the Stanley Cup. Thus he holds the unique distinction of being the only former president of the Canadian Soccer Association whose name is engraved on the Stanley Cup. Len later moved to Philadelphia where in 1946 he sought to establish a National Hockey League franchise and promote the construction of a new arena. He was made a life member of the CSA in 1939.