Hand hails ice hockey centenary event

SIHA chairman David Hand has hailed this weekend’s celebration to mark 100 Years of UK Ice Hockey as a complete success.

Former players through the years reunited at the Ramside Hall Hotel in Durham to commemorate the sport and their contribution.

And Hand praised the work of organisers Scott Plews and Frankie Killen, who have spent a great deal of time putting the weekend together, which also raised money for charity.

The chairman said: “The Centenary weekend was unbelievable and to see so many players that have contributed so much down the years together in the one room was incredible.

“I heard so many stories from so many people and it was a wonderful to celebrate a sport we all love and I am truly humbled to have been there.

“Special mention must go to the work Scott and Frankie did in putting it together and they deserve every praise for putting such a great event together.

“There was a golf day as well as the dinner which raised a lot of money for charity and everyone leaves with more special memories.

“On a personal note, I was proud to see my brother, Tony, be given the Player of the Century award and I know he was humbled by it.

“It was a special night for British ice hockey and I want to thank Scott, Frankie and everyone that made it such a memorable occasion.”

The golf day on Friday was followed by a dinner including speeches and videos, including one from Mike Babcock, once of Whitley Warriors and now head coach of Toronto Maple Leafs.

As well as Hand winning his accolade, which he duly credited everyone he ever worked with, Peter Jonker Johnson was also presented an Outstanding Achievement award.

Co-organiser Plews admits he was blown away by the success of the event and revealed why he spent the time in getting it together.

He said: “I started organising it because there are people who deserved some recognition in our sport and I believe the right people were given it too.

“There were hundreds more legends of the game not mentioned as it was impossible to do, not to mention those that left us too soon but were toasted ton the night.

“Everyone in the room on Saturday night wanted to be there and I have never witnessed so many happy faces at an event ever.

“So I want to thank each and every person that attended the event or helped in some way in putting together.

“Plus a special thanks to the Ramside Hotel were absolutely amazing in every way possible and were brilliant in accommodating every one of us.

“I’ve already been asked by so many people about doing another one is unbelievable, which says it all about how much everyone enjoyed it.

“As for ever doing it again, I would have to say no, not for a long time. Doing something like that annually or bi-annually would lose it’s specialness.

“That said, you can never say never though.”