Ice Hockey UK have paid tribute to Stewart Roberts, the author of The Ice Hockey Annual, after he announced today that last season’s edition would be the final one produced.

The annual has been a mainstay in British ice hockey for 40 years, packed full of reviews, features, photographs and statistics.

Stewart’s labour of love with ice hockey began back in 1975 when he started a monthly ice hockey newsletter which ran for five years, before going on to write for the Sunday Times and Daily Telegraph.

His love affair with ice hockey goes back further than that, with him first watching Brighton Tigers in the early 1960s.

Ice Hockey UK chairman, Richard Grieveson, said: “Everybody in British ice hockey knows Stewart and his annual was read by so many.

“He is a big supporter of Great Britain and I would like to wish him well for the future.”

Andy French, IHUK general secretary, added: “Stewart did a great job for the sport with The Ice Hockey Annual and it will be missed going forward.

“I am pleased that Stewart will still be going to games and, of course, following  the GB programme.

“I would like to thank him for everything he has done for British ice hockey over the years.”

On announcing his retirement from The Ice Hockey Annual, Roberts said: “I will not be leaving the sport, only the book, and I intend to keep up with the game as a hobby via my website and Facebook.

“In particular, I will be keeping tabs on the GB senior men’s team.

“The Ice Hockey Annual has been hard work but great fun and it has been an honour to cover this great game for so long.

“It’s probably the UK’s oldest-established sports yearbook edited by one person. Maybe I’ll check this out with the Guinness Book of Records sometime!

“I’ll still be going to games, especially those involving GB and my ‘local’ side Guildford Flames.”