help celebrate the centenary of ice hockey’s governing body, Stewart
Roberts, editor of The Ice Hockey Annual, describes some of the sport’s
major events and personalities of the last 100 years.
Ice hockey was first played in Britain during the dying years of the
19th century when it was a strictly amateur game, played mostly on
small indoor rinks.
The game’s greatest pioneer was Peter Patton, a multi-faceted man who
was the founder and first president in 1913 of the sport’s original
governing body, the British Ice Hockey Association (BIHA).
The public school educated Patton, who was born in London in 1876, was
a soldier by profession and rose to the rank of major. He was one
of the pioneers not just of British ice hockey but also of world ice
hockey, being instrumental in the formation in 1908 of the world
governing body, now the International Ice Hockey Federation
He was also president of Britain’s and Europe’s first league in
1903-04. The only British clubs at this time were Oxford and
Cambridge Universities, Princes (London), Manchester, and the Royal
Engineers, based at Chatham, Kent.
After the Great War, there were few places left which were suitable for
ice hockey – at one point in the 1920s there was just one rink, in
Manchester. This forced the players to cross the Channel where
games could be played outdoors as well as indoors.
The nationality rules were different in those days. The British
national team took full advantage of one which permitted Canadians to
play for this country as Canada was a British Dominion. In
1924, when Britain won bronze in the first Winter Olympics behind
Canada and the USA, of their ten players six were Canadians serving in
the British Army. Only one was British-born.
While Britain were tasting success in the World and European
Championships on the Continent, from the late 1920s new rinks began to
open in England and Scotland, and by 1931-32 there were enough for an
English League to be formed. In the first season the teams
finished in the following order: Oxford University, Grosvenor House
(Westminster) Canadians, Princes (London), London Lions (Golders
Green), Manchester, Sussex (Hove) and Cambridge University.
The whole complexion of the game changed when a series of large ice
arenas opened in London at Wembley, Earls Court and Harringay (north
London). With the addition of smaller buildings in Brighton,
Richmond and Streatham a virtually professional league, the English
National League, began in season 1934-35.
These clubs were able to pay higher wages than depression-hit North
America and they brought over some top class players from Canada,
several of whom later returned to compete in the National Hockey League
(NHL), North America’s major professional league.
During the years before World War Two, a time when public
entertainments were few, the arena teams attracted crowds of up to
10,000. This unprecedented spell is now known as the sport’s
Forgive us if we select just two names to illustrate this glamorous
period - Chick Zamick and Sonny Rost. Both Canadian, they
achieved far greater fame on this side of the Atlantic than they ever
did at home. The diminutive Zamick came here after World War Two
to join the newly formed Nottingham Panthers and became a legend on
Lower Parliament Street for his swift skating and high scoring.
Rost, a defenceman, was in the first wave of North American imports in
the mid-1930s when he was recruited for Wembley Lions’ inaugural
season. His bone-crunching feats on the blueline were a feature
of Lions’ teams until the 1960s. In addition, several of his male
descendants also took to the sport, notably his son John Rost, a player
and coach at Streatham, and his grandson Warren Rost of Slough Jets.
Rost, Zamick and many of their teammates, it is worth noting, would
have been paid at least as much as their opposite numbers in football,
and sometimes more.
The national team also hit a never-to-be-repeated high spot when in
1936 they won the Triple Crown of Olympic, World and European titles in
Bavaria. Their Canadian coach, Percy Nicklin of Richmond,
and their Irish manager, John (Bunny) Ahearne, had scouted widely in
Canada to find eligible British-born players.
One of the stars of the side was Streatham’s Gerry Davey, with seven
goals in six games. Davey, 21, was one of the few to stay in the
squad until the next Winter Olympics in 1948. His five goals in
St Moritz, Switzerland gave him a total of 44 in 45 games for GB, a
record that still stands today.
The team captain was Carl Erhardt (right) who had also skippered the
side when they won the bronze medal a year earlier. Born in
England and educated in Germany and Switzerland, he was renowned as a
gentlemanly defenceman who set an example of fair play and common
sense, encouraging his men to play with style and class. His slim 1937
book Ice Hockey provides useful insights into the sport.
He went on to coach GB at the 1948 Olympics and refereed at the 1950
World Championships in London. He served on the BIHA from the
early 1930s and was a vice-president of the governing body from 1936
until the late 1970s.
GB’s manager, Bunny Ahearne, was another of the sport’s early movers
and shakers. Born in Ireland in 1901, he had a reputation as a
shrewd businessman after establishing a successful travel agency in
London. He was appointed secretary of the BIHA in 1934 and went on to
become the dominant figure in British and world ice hockey until the
The sport continued to enjoy enormous success both domestically (a
Scottish National League was formed in season 1938-39) and
internationally until the early 1950s. By then television was
becoming a big attraction. With the economy beginning to favour
North America, the imported players wanted more money; consequently,
the arenas found other spectacles more profitable than ice
hockey. One by one, the large venues closed and in 1960 the
dwindling national league (the English and Scottish ones merged in
season 1954-55) folded.
Despite only intermittent appearances, the national team managed to
hold on to their place in world’s top ten. A sixth place finish
in the 1953 World Championships was followed by an eight-year
gap. When they returned in 1961, GB were boosted by several
talented home-grown players who had learned the game in the national
These included several future Hall of Famers [see later] - netminders
Willie Clark and Glynne Thomas, defencemen Billy Brennan, Johnny
Carlyle, Red Imrie and Roy Shepherd and forwards Jack Dryburgh, Ian
Forbes, Johnny Murray, Mike O’Brien and Jimmy Spence. In
Switzerland the squad finished eighth in Europe and tenth in the
When Cold War politics resulted in the refusal of three leading nations
to participate in the 1962 games in Colorado Springs, USA, Britain were
‘promoted’ to the championships’ elite division and placed sixth in
Europe and eighth in the world. But they would never again
reach these dizzy heights.
At home, an amateur Northern League was eventually established in 1966
with teams based in Ayr, Crossmyloof (Glasgow), Dundee, Kirkcaldy,
Murrayfield and Paisley in Scotland and Durham and Whitley Bay in
This league, which lasted until 1982, was staffed almost entirely by
home-grown players, a mixture of those with experience in the old
national league and some talented youngsters who went on to play
internationally and enjoy Hall of Fame careers - Pete Johnson, Gordon
Latto, brothers Les and Lawrie Lovell, Terry Matthews, Jackson McBride,
Joe McIntosh, Alfie Miller and Derek Reilly.
The absence of a strong national league was reflected in the fortunes
of the national squad. After finishing 14th and 16th respectively
in the 1965 and 1966 World Championships, the BIHA again withdrew the
team, this time for five years.
Outside the north-east, the ice rink situation in England was
disastrous. The only venues were in Altrincham, Solihull and
Blackpool where the Ice Drome was built as a theatre for ice shows with
a horseshoe-shaped pad.
Nevertheless, with the addition of players based in London and
Brighton, a Southern League was put together in 1970. This lasted
in various formats until 1982 when there were at last enough teams to
re-form a national league.
Cue another transformation of the sport which now entered a period of
phenomenal growth. The reasons were two-fold: a successful
campaign by the old Sports Council to remedy the dearth of ice rinks,
and the injection of previously unheard-of sums of money into the
national league by the brewers, Whitbread, under their brand name of
The negotiations with Whitbread were handled by the BIHA’s new
president, Frederick Meredith (right), who took over from Bunny Ahearne
when he retired from the governing body after nearly 50 years in
charge. Meredith, a Berkshire-based management consultant, was
born in Montreal and came to Britain to attend Cambridge University
where he was a netminder and captain of the varsity ice hockey
Season 1983-84 was the first one of the new Heineken League which was
composed of 20 teams, nine in the Premier Division and 11 in Division
One. The sponsorship was worth £100,000 in the first year.
When it ended in 1992-93 after ten campaigns, it was calculated that
the deal as a whole had been worth a cool £5 million.
Some of the money was used to defray the teams’ travel expenses, but it
mostly went towards promoting the game and especially towards hiring
the prestigious Wembley Arena for the end-of-season Heineken
By the late 1980s, this courageous move had the fans packing the famous
old building with up to 9,000 watching each of the three games.
With the help of BBC TV, who regularly televised the finals live on the
popular Grandstand sports show, the name of Wembley became famous as
ice hockey’s ‘spiritual home’.
With the sport now receiving unprecedented media coverage, the sponsor
encouraged the formation of a journalists’ group, known as the British
Ice Hockey Writers Association (BIHWA), which was designed to recognise
the best players.
Meanwhile, new rinks were springing up all over the country.
Starting with Peterborough in 1981, by the end of the Heineken era in
1993 when the Guildford Spectrum began trading, a total of 30 new
buildings were in business. Importantly, half of them were in the
south of England, in the most densely populated part around the newly
opened M25 motorway.
As the league expanded into a third division to cope with all the new
clubs, more companies became eager to sponsor British ice hockey.
In season 1985-86 President Meredith signed a three-year, £50,000
contract with Norwich Union Insurance to back the Autumn Cup, and the
Scottish Ice Hockey Association went one better with Imperial Tobacco
agreeing to put their brand name of Regal on the Scottish Cup for the
same sum over two years.
The most successful team of the 1980s was Tom Stewart’s Dundee
Rockets. In 1983, they were the first British team to participate
in the European Cup (now the Continental Cup).
Two years later Stewart, who ran a successful scaffolding business in
the city, made the signing of the decade, and one of the most
spectacular of all-time, with Garry Unger. The 37-year-old
Canadian was known as the NHL’s Iron Man for making a record 914
consecutive appearances in the Show.
The high-scoring forward also made an unusual contribution to the
game. In 1981-82 a precocious Edinburgh youngster, Tony Hand, had
made his debut for Murrayfield Racers at the age of 14. Four
years later he had risen to fourth in Heineken League scoring behind
three prolific Canadian marksmen. (The Heineken League restricted
overseas players to three per team.)
Unger was so impressed by Hand that he arranged for him to be drafted
by his last NHL team, Edmonton Oilers, home of the famed Wayne
Gretzky. After watching Hand in practices and a couple of
exhibition games in Edmonton, Oilers’ coach Glen Sather was also taken
with Hand - he likened his skills to the Great One’s - and offered him
a contract. But Tony, who had just turned 19, was a home town boy
and, homesick, he returned to the Racers.
Season 1987-88 was a notable one for the sport’s administration.
The BIHA employed its first full-time referee, Dutchman Nico Toemen,
and a controversial new secretary, David Pickles, replaced the
well-liked but now overworked Pat Marsh who had been secretary to Bunny
Ahearne for many years. Mrs Marsh was inducted into Britain’s
Hall of Fame and honoured by the world governing body with a special
award for her services to the sport.
In the spring of 1989, Britain’s senior men’s team returned to the
World Championships for the first time in eight years, this time under
Whitley Warriors’ English coach, Terry Matthews. After their
lengthy absence, GB had to enter the bottom group, Pool D, but they
failed to win the expected promotion and were ranked a lowly 27th in
Nevertheless, the enormous media interest in ice hockey ensured that
more than 20 newspaper, radio and telephone hotline correspondents
travelled to Belgium to report on the team’s fortunes.
The BIHA, meanwhile, announced that its registered players had increased by 150 per cent in the last five years.
A year later, Britain began the long climb back to some sort of
international respectability by gaining promotion to Pool C. GB’s
coach for these games, held in Cardiff, was the respected Canadian Alex
Dampier, who was then with Nottingham Panthers. ‘Damps’ is
credited with nurturing the young Tony Hand when both were at
Three game-changing events took place during the 1991-92
campaign. First in the October came the new £30 million,
8,500-seat Sheffield Arena, the largest building in Britain with a
permanent ice pad. By the end of the season, extra seating had to
be installed to cope with all the fans keen to watch the new sport and
the Steelers drew the biggest crowds since the post-war years.
In March 1992, tobacco company Gallaher Ltd announced a three-year deal
to sponsor the Autumn Cup which was renamed the Benson and Hedges
Cup. A month later, the GB team won their second World
Championship promotion in three years, this time into Pool B and the
top 20 of the world’s ice hockey nations.
Britain’s venture into Pool B was a complete success with Dampier’s
squad earning promotion for a third straight time, this time in the
Dutch city of Eindhoven. Bolstered by ten Anglo-Canadians,
Britain had a perfect series, winning all their seven games, with three
shutouts, shooting them up the world rankings to 12th place. It
would not be stretching things too far to say that this was GB’s
biggest international moment since 1936.
Englishman Stephen Cooper of Cardiff Devils was voted the tournament’s
best defenceman and British-Canadian Tim Cranston (previously with
Durham Wasps) scored three game-winning goals. Scot Tony Hand,
Stephen’s brother, Ian Cooper, and another English pair, Anthony and
Stephen Johnson, were the pick of the home-grown skaters.
But sadly the aftermath of all this success was calamity – Whitbread’s
decision to end their financial backing and the resultant loss of their
steadying hand behind the scenes; Britain’s swift relegation from the
World A Pool; and rows among the top clubs over wage-capping and
players’ nationality. All combined to give the governing body
some major headaches.
David Frame, previously with Cardiff Devils, was appointed the BIHA’s
first chief executive in March 1994 and he struggled manfully to cope
with all these difficulties.
Then there was the rise of the arena clubs. Three opened in 13
months - Manchester (July 1995), Newcastle (November 1995) and
Ayr-Prestwick (August 1996) - bringing fresh problems as they, too,
attracted thousands of new fans almost overnight.
Manchester Storm, heavily promoted by former Sheffield Steelers’ public
relations man, Dave Biggar, raised the crowd record in their first
season to an all-time high of 16,344 - for a game in the second
Even this figure was exceeded a year later on 23 February 1997 when the
Storm hosted the Steelers in front of a staggering 17,245 fans with
over 1,500 unable to obtain tickets. The game was shown live on Sky
Sports. (Being able to put these sort of attendance figures on his CV
later helped the ambitious Biggar to acquire a good position with the
Madison Square Garden Co. in New York.)
Eventually, the arena teams announced that they were setting up their
own league, the Ice Hockey Superleague, independent of the governing
body, to begin play in season 1996-97.
The original clubs and owners were: Basingstoke Bison (Malcolm
Chamberlain of Civic Leisure) – a larger rink was planned for the
Hampshire town; Bracknell Bees (John Nike), Cardiff Devils (David Temme
of Brent Walker), Durham Wasps (Sir John Hall, chairman of Newcastle
Utd FC), Guildford Flames (John Hepburn of merchant bankers, Morgan
Stanley), Manchester Storm (John Lord of Ogden Entertainment Services)
and Sheffield Steelers (businessmen Steve Crowther and George
Nottingham Panthers (under long-time owner Charles Walker) and Bill
Barr’s Scottish Eagles, which called Ayr’s Centrum home, joined the
Original Seven later, but Guildford Flames dropped out before the first
puck was dropped, leaving eight for the league’s inaugural campaign.
The fully professional circuit - administrators as well as players -
signed the best players money could buy, regardless of their
nationality, eventually spending possibly £20 million, which put
Heineken’s investment in the shade. It was British ice hockey’s
first pro league since the 1950s.
Superleague’s top banana, financially speaking, was Philip Anschutz, an
American billionaire who controlled the Anschutz Entertainment Group
(AEG), owners of the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings and their arena and many
other sports teams and buildings in North America. One of
the world’s wealthiest men, he ran London Knights from the converted
London Arena in Docklands. But like all the league’s owners, he
lost several million in the process.
The ambitious but mismanaged league lasted just seven seasons,
coinciding with one of the strongest economic climates this country has
ever enjoyed. Only three teams lasted the distance: Sheffield,
Nottingham and the unfashionable Bracknell. Panthers survived
through acquiring a wealthy new owner, Neil Black, and later a large
modern arena. The Steelers barely hung on after bankrupting more
than one owner, and having one imprisoned for fraud.
The only other team to reach the finishing line were Belfast Giants,
who joined in 2000 on the completion of the Odyssey Arena in the
Northern Ireland capital.
The league’s troubles also helped to bring down the 64-year-old
governing body. The basically amateur organisation had never been
designed to cope with professional hockey. The president,
Frederick Meredith, a Montreal-born, Berkshire-based management
consultant and former Cambridge University netminder, handed control to
But Mr Frame, a former director of marketing with the company who owned
the Wales National Ice Rink, resigned in 1997 after barely three years
in the post. He had failed to raise enough sponsorship to cover
the costs of his administration and the BIHA reported an annual loss of
nearly £40,000, compared with a profit of a similar size in the
As their finances continued to flounder (there were rumours of
financial mismanagement), in December 1998 the BIHA’s entire ruling
council resigned and in July 1999 a new governing authority, Ice Hockey
UK, was launched under the guidance of the Sports Council.
The Sports Council’s guidelines called, somewhat idealistically, for
400 different organisations within the sport to vote for a new five-man
Executive Board. While this was achieved initially, when the
terms of the five expired, Ice Hockey UK reverted to the BIHA’s
comfortable old method of electing officials from within its own circle.
The current officers are both experienced ice hockey
administrators. The chairman is Mohammed Ashraff, who was
previously with the English Ice Hockey Association. Andy French,
who served several years as the Elite League’s director of hockey, has
been the general secretary since 2005.
Below the Superleague, in 1996-97 the remaining clubs formed first a
Premier League, then a British National League which lasted until
season 2005-06. This often came into conflict with the top
league, creating more nightmares for the hard-pressed governing body.
The GB team now began playing some important games under the leadership
of Peter Woods, a highly qualified coach, who took over in 1996.
Woods, from Winnipeg, had family in Portsmouth and coached Superleague
side, Basingstoke Bison. He was also the league’s director of
One of his first tasks was guiding GB through a long series of
qualifying matches for the 1998 Winter Olympics. These culminated
in a 3-3 tie with Switzerland at Sheffield Arena when a win would have
taken the dual national-dominated GB through to the next round.
Woods, who had a passion for the Old Country, was devastated.
Among the – mostly dual national - stars of GB during the Woods’ era
were forwards Paul Adey, Rick Brebant, Kevin Conway, David
Longstaff, Steve Moria (left) and Hand, defenders Matt Coté,
Darren Durdle, Shannon Hope, Doug McEwen and Rick Strachan, and goalie
In November 1999, Britain’s 18th place finish in that year’s World
Championships, made them eligible to compete for a place in the World A
Pool. Playing in front of BBC TV cameras, GB drew their three
games in Sheffield Arena, which required them to take part in a
play-off decider against Norway in Eindhoven. Another bitter
disappointment awaited Woods, his team and their hundreds of fans as GB
It should be mentioned here that most of Britain’s fans belong to the
GB Supporters Club which has been organising trips to the World
Championships since the early 1990s. According to the IIHF, it is
the world’s only club for the followers of a national side.
A couple of months later in Gdansk, Poland, Britain attempted to
qualify for the 2002 Winter Olympics. This time they finished
third of the four nations with only a win over Romania. It turned
out to be GB’s last Olympic qualifying tournament for eight years as
they withdrew from the next event due to lack of funds.
The dwindling resources available to GB led in 2000 to Woods’
resignation. It also led, inevitably, to Britain’s slide down the
world rankings to a record low of 31st in 2006, though this was mostly
due to their being deducted ranking points by the IIHF for their
inability to compete in the Olympic Qualifying competition.
Woods’ successor was another Canadian, Chris McSorley. Brought to
this country by the Anschutz Group, owners of London Arena, to coach
the Knights, McSorley made his name as a colourful character who
pleased British fans by promoting the rougher side of the sport.
(One of his brothers, Marty, was famous in the NHL for acting as Wayne
His appointment to the national team, therefore, was a surprise as
physical hockey is frowned on in the international game.
Moreover, he was paid only his expenses, and Ice Hockey UK now insisted
that home-grown talent should be given preference over dual
But McSorley had been impressed with the Brits he had seen and he
showed great enthusiasm for his new role. To try and promote the
team in this country (historically, GB had played virtually all its
games overseas), he took his men on a national tour in the run-up to
the 2002 World Championships, playing six games against a mixture of
local clubs and foreign nations. But with crowds dropping as low
as 400 in Coventry, the project failed to cover its costs and has not
been repeated since.
McSorley was in charge of the squad for four seasons, during which time
he moved from London to Geneva to coach another of Anschutz’s clubs in
the Swiss A league. But the hard-driving Canadian found working
with Brits a lot different from coaching professional North
Americans. This plus the strain of his full-time job with a
leading European side and, of course, the age-old problem of finance
led to his amicable parting from the team. During his reign, GB
slipped from 18th to 25th in the world.
It wasn’t until 2010 that GB moved back above 25th, and by this time
they were being mentored by Paul Thompson, only the team’s second
English coach of the Modern Era. Thompson, who had won several
trophies with his club side, Coventry Blaze, was another keen advocate
of using local skaters.
During his spell in the GB hot-seat, Robert Dowd, Ben O’Connor, Phil
Hill, Robert Lachowicz and netminder Stephen Murphy established
themselves as squad regulars
‘Thommo’, as he is universally known, proved to be GB’s most successful
coach since Alex Dampier, driving the team from 29th to 21st in the
world during his five years in the hot seat. He resigned after
the 2011 World Championships only with the greatest reluctance, having
failed to persuade the governing body to find the resources he believed
were essential if GB were to continue their climb up the slippery
Britain’s most renowned player, Tony Hand, who was awarded the MBE in
2004 for his services to the sport, realised a cherished ambition when
he was appointed as Thompson’s successor. The all-time leading
points scorer for GB and in British club hockey, Tony, now 45, plays
for and coaches Manchester Phoenix in the sport’s second tier English
While GB did Hand and themselves great credit by reaching the final
round of Olympic Qualifying in November 2012 for the first time, the
cracks in the national programme began to appear during the season’s
later internationals, the final Olympic qualifiers and the World
Championships when they failed to win a single game.
Britain has an aging team with few obvious replacements and a serious
funding deficit compared with their opponents. In April 2013, GB
were relegated from their World Championship group for the first time
in two decades and Hand later resigned.
Back with domestic hockey, the game has stabilised somewhat since the
folding of the Superleague in 2003 and the short-lived British National
League three years later.
The top two leagues are now the Elite League and the English Premier
League, each with ten teams. But as is the way with many team
sports these days, there is no promotion or relegation between these
leagues. Indeed, each is run separately from the other and
neither is under the direct control of Ice Hockey UK.
The Elite League is an independent body, a trimmed-down version of the
Superleague but with more manageable budgets. Not that this has
prevented some unfortunate liquidations and other unwelcome
problems. Like the Superleague, the Elite’s clubs are permitted
to employ players from wherever they wish and, unfortunately for the
national team, this means few have the ancestry to become eligible for
The English Premier League (EPL) is under the umbrella of the
32-year-old English Ice Hockey Association (EIHA). A sprawling
body which controls all ice hockey south of the border - senior and
junior, men and women - outside the Elite League, the EIHA has been
chaired throughout its existence by a colourful American, Ken Taggart,
an ex-USAF sergeant who still resides in the States.
A self-styled ‘development league’, the EPL has a limit of four players
(three on the ice at any one time) who have not been trained in this
country. Catering for clubs with modest budgets, this formula has
enabled the league - and its direct predecessors - to exist
continuously since 1989.
This is just the tip of the, er, iceberg. Below the EPL are four
regionalised amateur leagues, containing almost 40 teams. There
is a nine-strong Women’s League, and the numerous junior sides are
organised down to under-12 level. A similar though smaller setup
exists in Scotland.
Most of this huge growth has come about since the 1980s. As noted
earlier, the opening of the Peterborough ice rink in 1981 heralded the
largest programme of rink construction in our history. When
Widnes on Merseyside opened late last year it brought to 44 the total
number of ice surfaces in use by the sport.
But with a population of around 60 million to serve, these venues are
under constant pressure. Ice hockey, a minority sport, has to
fight for its place in the pecking order. Consequently, this
welcome move has not been reflected in a commensurate increase in
players talented enough to play in the top league or to be selected for
their country. The Elite League is almost as heavily dominated by
overseas players as its predecessor was in the 1950s.
As previously noted, many of the best national men’s team players are
no longer young. Defender Jonathan Weaver is 36 and attacker
Ashley Tait, 37. Four others are over 30-years-old. Stevie
Lyle, then the team’s number one goalie, retired in 2010 at the
comparatively young age of 31. (He made his GB debut early, too,
when he was only 16.)
The oldest and longest serving player, Whitley Bay-born David
Longstaff, 38, retired from the international scene late last year with
a record 101 caps for his country. The popular Guildford Flames
forward, who is now an assistant with the national team, is one of an
elite few to have played over 1,100 games in this country. A
decade ago, he enjoyed a season with one of Sweden’s leading clubs.
The 1980s rinks’ boom enabled the creation of national junior squads -
under-20s and under-18s – but they have struggled to make much headway
in the World Championships. Neither is among the world’s leading
Ice Hockey UK, however, was recently successful in their bid to host
the groups in which these teams will compete next year. The hope
is that by holding the championships in Dumfries, Scotland the
teenagers’ international standings will improve.
A British women’s team first took part in the European Championships in
the early 1990s and by 1999 felt strong enough to enter their first
World Championships. Britain hosted Division IB of the
championships last year and the team are presently 20th in the world.
Stewart gratefully acknowledges the
historical research conducted by Martin C Harris, David Gordon and
Gordon Wade of Ice Hockey Journalists UK which he used in compiling
Ice Hockey UK - www.icehockeyuk.co.uk
English Ice Hockey Association - www.eiha.co.uk
Elite League - www.eliteleague.co.uk
International Ice Hockey Federation – www.iihf.com
Ice Hockey Journalists UK - www.ihjuk.co.uk
The Ice Hockey Annual - www.icehockeyannual.co.uk