HAND INDUCTED INTO IIHF HALL OF FAME

CLICK HERE TO SEE TONY HAND BEING INDUCTED INTO THE IIHF HALL OF FAME

Former Great Britain player and coach Tony Hand MBE has been inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Cologne, Germany.

The 49-year-old received the Richard ‘Bibi’ Torriani Award – for an outstanding career by a player from a non-top hockey nation – as part of the 2017 inductees.

The Edinburgh-born former forward scored over 4,250 points in an illustrious 34-year playing career.

He became the first British-raised player to be drafted by an NHL side when he was picked up by Edmonton Oilers in 1986.

In a two-year stint as GB head coach, he led the national side to the final qualifying stages for the Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014.

Hand was presented with his award by the IIHF president, Rene Fasel.

An emotional Hand said: “I am honoured and privileged to be here to accept the award. I am overwhelmed.

“I started playing hockey when I was nine. My father passed away when I was seven and my mum brought us up.

“The sacrifices she made for me to get to here. It is such an honour.

“I would like to thank the IIHF council members for the nomination.

“I would like to thank my team-mates, my coaches, Ice Hockey UK and the fans who have supported me through my career.

“I would like to congratulate my fellow inductees, it is an honour to be here with you.

“I would like to thank my wife Melissa, son Paul, daughter Sarah and my brothers Paul and David.

“It is the pinnacle of my career to get here, something I never ever dreamed of.”

Ice Hockey UK chairman, Richard Grieveson, said: “This is a special moment for Tony and one he fully deserves.

“He is a legend in UK ice hockey and has done so much for the sport in this country.

“This shows the respect Tony has worldwide and I would like to congratulate him on his award.”

Click here to read Tony Hand’s inductee-bio on the IIHF website.