The doyen of British ice hockey journalists until his passing in 2005, Phil Drackett worked closely with the Canadian editor, Bob Giddens, on Ice Hockey World, the world’s first weekly ice hockey newspaper. Later, he edited a monthly magazine himself.
He was perhaps best known for authoring several books on the game, the most notable being Vendetta on Ice (1992), which told the story of British ice hockey’s finest hour in 1936 when the national team won the Triple Crown of Olympics, World and European titles: and Flashing Blades (1987), a history of the sport’s first ‘ golden ear’.
When Flashing Blades proved a success, he penned more tales of the game's early days which were published under the title Champions on Ice (2000). He was writing almost to the end as his latest volume, Hollywood on Ice, about hockey players' connections with the movies, came out early in 2005.
An ice hockey netminder in his younger days with the teams that played in the old Harringay (London) Arena, Phil began recording the sport after the Second World War for the Ice Hockey World. He went on to compile and edit that publication's yearbook
When professional ice hockey died out in the late Fifties, he continued his journalism as the director of press and PR with the RAC and wrote several books on motor sports. He also became involved in speedway and boxing and made many radio and television broadcasts.
He returned to his first love in the Eighties when Heineken were the sponsors of a revived British League and many new rinks were springing up, notably in Peterborough, near his new home in Mundelsey, outside Norwich.
He wrote and edited a monthly magazine on and off for eleven years between 1982 and 1993. This was known first as Puck and then, as a salute to earlier times, Ice Hockey World.
Between his book-writing, in which he was helped by publisher Dennis Fill, an old pal in Seattle, Washington, he contributed obituaries of former players - many of whom were his personal friends - to The Ice Hockey Annual and the fortnightly Ice Hockey News Review.
The first honorary life member of the British Ice Hockey Writers Association, Phil Drackett passed away on 27 November 2005, aged 83. His widow, Joan, briefly survived him. His only brother, Alan, who also wrote for the Ice Hockey World, predeceased him by six months.
Compiled with research,provided by Stewart Roberts April 2007.