Kyle Horne says he was amazed by the reception he received from his Solway Sharks teammates after announcing his retirement from ice hockey.
Horne made his senior debut for Fife Flyers back in 1996 and went on to play for the club in both the British National League and Elite League.
The former Great Britain ‘D’ man also iced for Edinburgh Capitals and Slough Jets, but spent the bulk of his senior career with his hometown club.
He had a year out of the game after leaving the Flyers in 2016, before signing for the Sharks for the 2017/18 campaign.
Horne rounded off his senior career by helping Solway win the Scottish National League (SNL) title with a 100 percent record.
The 39-year-old played his final game against North Ayrshire Wild in the SNL play-offs earlier this month.
“I was a bit overwhelmed to speak at the reception the Sharks gave me even when it was last minute due to the circumstances,” he said.
“First off, thanks to Martin (Grubb) who gave me another chance when I thought I was already finished playing, and to the rest of the Sharks organisation for helping with accommodation and other things.
“All the boys in team have been great from the moment I arrived and there are great careers ahead for a number of them.
“It has been a pleasure and a privilege – to some of the older boys I would say play as long as you can, trust me on that!
“To the fans – you have been a pleasure to play in front of. It has also been fantastic to meet most of you – without you guys there would be no hockey at this level and it has been an honour to play for you.”
Sharks’ head coach, Martin Grubb, added: “I’d like to wish Kyle all the best in his retirement and hope he is not a stranger to the game or the Ice Bowl.
“I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Kyle pretty much all his hockey life and watched as he developed into one of the best Scottish defencemen of the modern era.
“When his Elite career ended through injury, I spoke to him and was delighted to be able to bring him to the Sharks. I knew he could still offer us so much and would be a huge influence on our younger players.
“I think we were lucky to have him here and we will reap the benefits of the knowledge he passed on to our younger guys for years to come.
“Kyle was someone who sees the ice so well and could read a game better than most – his ability on and off the puck was still there right until his last game and he would still pop up with valuable goals. His personality and experience will be missed in the dressing room.
“I’m sure he will relish spending time with his family now and I know they are all very proud of him and his achievements, as are all of us at the club.
“We wish them all every success in the future.”
(Image permission: Helen Hobbins Photography)