IHUK TO BE CUSTODIAN OF HALL OF FAME

Ice Hockey UK is proud to announce that it is now the official custodian of the British Ice Hockey Hall of Fame.

The Hall’s selection committee has been reformed and its members have received official approval.

The five-man panel comprises Andy French, general secretary of Ice Hockey UK; David Gordon, a sports historian and writer of Scottish ice hockey; Jim Graves, the proprietor of Rockies Sports Bar in Belfast, home of the UK’s largest exhibition of ice hockey memorabilia; Martin Harris, the foremost historian of British ice hockey; and Stewart Roberts, the former editor of The Ice Hockey Annual.

Richard Grieveson, chairman of Ice Hockey UK, said: “It is important for a sport to recognise those who have given outstanding service and a Hall of Fame has been ice hockey’s way of doing this for many years.

“The combined experience of the five members gives them a great perspective on the people, past and present, who are deemed worthy of this honour.”

Stewart Roberts explained: “Our Hall of Fame has been in existence, on and off, since the 1940s and I was keen that it should continue as it’s an ideal way of publicly recognising our best players and others who have made an exceptional contribution to the game.

“Naturally, I’m delighted that the sport’s governing body, Ice Hockey UK, has seen fit to grant us its approval.”

The first inductees to the Hall will be announced at the end of March.

Biographies
Andy French is the general secretary of Ice Hockey UK since 2010 and served as the Elite League’s director of hockey for five years from 2004 to 2009. He was general manager of GB Men from 1995 to 2003 and held similar roles at club level from 1983 with Peterborough Pirates, Cardiff Devils and Romford Raiders.

David Gordon is a sports historian, specialising in ice hockey. Living in Ayr and the third member of his family to have written about the sport, he authored Scotch on Ice (Tempus Publishing Ltd, 2006), a history of Scottish ice hockey as told by many of its finest exponents. He was a member of the Ayr Jets recreational team which won the first Scottish Cup in 1987. David works as a corporate employment law business partner for the UK’s leading provider of employment law, HR and health & safety services.

Jim Graves is a Canadian/Scottish netminder who played for several British teams, starting with the Ayr Bruins in 1974 and ending with the Nottingham Panthers in 1992. He moved to Northern Ireland in 1993 for a coaching position, including a stint with the Irish national team, and became involved in setting up the Elite League’s Belfast Giants. He went on to serve for three years as the team’s arena operations director. For the past 10 years Jim has run his Rockies Sports Bar in Belfast, which is widely known as one of the top hockey venues in Europe with its impressive display of sports memorabilia.

Martin Harris is a former ice hockey referee who was secretary of the Southern Ice Hockey Association and served two terms on the British Ice Hockey Association (the forerunner of Ice Hockey UK). He has published two books on the sport – Homes of British Ice Hockey (Tempus Publishing, 2005) and the British Ice Hockey Hall of Fame (Tempus Publishing, 2007). London-based Martin has a vast collection of British ice hockey books, magazines, photos and programmes.

Stewart Roberts was the editor and compiler of The Ice Hockey Annual, the sport’s yearbook for 40 years from 1976 to 2016. He was the founding secretary of the British Ice Hockey Writers Association in 1985 and has written about the sport for national newspapers. He was involved in the administration of the sport during the 1970s and 1980s and is a member of the British Ice Hockey Hall of Fame.