Ice Hockey UK and everyone connected with Great Britain ice hockey would like to send our condolences to the family of Jim Gillespie who passed away yesterday.

Jim owned Elite League side Belfast Giants for 10 years, during which time the team won two Elite League titles, two playoff trophies, a Knock-Out Cup and a Challenge Cup.

He is considered to be the saviour of the club after he rescued the Giants who were on the brink of collapse following the demise of the Superleague in 2003.

Ice Hockey UK General Secretary, Andy French, said: “Jim was a great man and was Mr Belfast Giants.

“I worked with Jim for many years and not only did he help save the Giants, he helped them grow to become what they are today.

“Jim was great guy, so kind to everyone and his loss will be felt not just in Belfast, but across the ice hockey world.

“On behalf of Ice Hockey UK, I would like to send our thoughts and condolences to his family.”

Jim was inducted into the UK Ice Hockey Hall of Fame in 2013 and you can read his bio here.