Ice Hockey
Journalists UK
George Beach
1989

Born October 4th 1926 in Regina Saskatchewan, George Beach as a teenager was spotted by an NHL scout and recommended to the Chicago Blackhawks. He attended the Blackhawks training camp and was assigned to play for Kansas City in the US Hockey League, where he remained until coming to Britain to join the Wembley lions, shortly after his 21st birthday.

Centreman George Beach was an instant success, helping himself to a brace of goals and four assists in his debut game and ending the season topping the clubs scoring list in both the National League and Tournament competitions. The next two seasons were spent with the Lions ‘stable mates.’ The Monarchs, but when they folded after the 1949/50 season, he reverted to the Lions playing for four further seasons. In 1950, he was voted to the All Star A-team with a B-team selection the following season.

For the 1954/55 season, Beach went to play and coach in mainland Europe, initially in Milan, Italy and then with Martigny in Switzerland. He stayed with Martigny until 1958 as player/coach before moving to Zurich for one season with the same responsibilities. During the late fifties, he iced the closing weeks of the seasons with the Brighton Tigers, Harringay Racers and Nottingham Panthers, as the seasons in Europe finished some weeks ahead of the close in Britain.

The 1959/60 season saw George Beach return to Britain and the club with whom his name will forever be associated, the Wembley Lions. Despite the club having a less than auspicious final season, he distinguished himself by winning the scoring race and was again named to the All Star B-team. With the collapse of the British National League, he guested for several teams before signing for the Southampton Vikings. Beach appeared in 71 games for the Vikings, setting a club record for assists (154) and then becoming player/coach in 1962/63, the last season before the Rank Organisation terminated its hockey interests.

George Beach returned to play in London between 1963 and the November of 1968 as Wembley again hosted hockey games, though only intermittently, and he again donned the famous red and white strip. After a brief spell with the homeless Wembley Vets in the Southern League in 1970/71, he finally called it a day from a playing angle before taking up a coaching role. In 1976, he guided the GB national team in the Pondus Cup in Denmark as well as the Pool C world championship tournament in Poland.

He retired to live in Ruislip, having settled there when working in the insurance business at the nearby US Air Force base. Regarded as one of the all-time great players in British ice hockey history, and one of the great characters too – his place in the Hall of Fame along his illustrious Canadian contemporaries like Bobby Lee, Bill Glennie, Chick Zamick, Les Strongman and old friend Sonny Rost is well deserved.

His statistical record in official competitions is impressive: GP 628 G 608 A 726 Pts 1334 PIM 236

Compiled with research, provided by Martin C.Harris - 1989.

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