Archie Stinchcombe played for Great Britain in two Winter Olympics, winning gold in 1936 and captaining the side in 1948. He also won two league titles as the coach of Nottingham Panthers.
Yorkshire-born Stinchcombe was recruited in 1935 from his hometown of Windsor, Ontario by Streatham coach Red Stapleford. Canadians born in England were much sought after as Britain needed experienced players for the 1936 Winter Olympics.
The right winger was selected after a series of contests in which he proved to be a rugged player with a powerful shot, and he was capped in six of Britain’s seven games in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria. The squad famously went on to win the Triple Crown of Olympic, World and European titles.
He was chosen again for the 1937 and 1938 World Championships and scored five goals in each event as GB retained their European crown on both occasions. When Britain returned to Olympic competition in 1948, Archie, 35, was appointed team captain and, though unnamed, was effectively the coach. He scored once, against Switzerland.
Before World War Two, he played three seasons with Streatham and two at Wembley with the Lions and the Monarchs, piling up 84 goals and 68 assists for 152 points and was voted on to the All-Star ‘B’ team at right-wing in his first season.
After the war, he returned to Streatham for two years, scoring 129 points (51 goals), which put him in third place all-time in Ice Hockey World’s 100-Goal Club.
His talent for controlling the puck made him a regular on his teams’ penalty kills, and he was such a clean player that he once enjoyed the rare distinction of completing a full season without visiting the penalty box.
For the 1948-49 campaign, he joined Nottingham Panthers as coach and won another All-Star ‘B’ team berth. He stayed for seven winters, winning the English National League title in 1950-51 and 1953-54 and steering Panthers to the runners-up place in the first season of the British National League in 1954-55.
Panthers’ 1953-54 league success had come against the odds after dismal performances in two cup competitions, and he was perhaps unlucky to end up on the All-Star ‘B’ side. One reason may be that he was overshadowed by the skill of his talented team, which included his fellow Hall of Famers Chick Zamick and Les Strongman.
Perhaps the most impressive fact about his long career, however, is that he achieved it all with the sight of only one eye, the other having been damaged in a boyhood accident.
Archie Stinchcombe was born on 17 November 1912 in Cudworth near Barnsley, South Yorkshire and died on 4 November 1994 in Nottingham. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1951.