Hand nearing fantastic landmark achievement

Friday, 21st November 2008

Manchester Phoenix player coach Tony Hand has achieved some memorable landmarks in his distinguished career – being the first British born and trained player ever to be drafted by an NHL club and being the first ice hockey player recognised by the Queen when he was made awarded an MBE being just two of them.

Now the player, both affectionately and respectfully nicknamed “The Great One” is homing in on another memorable mark, and one that will probably never be equalled or matched. Hand needs just six more points to reach a career total in purely domestic British ice hockey to reach a staggering total of 4,000. Including international appearances for both clubs and Great Britain, Hand has already reached the mark, but this weekend could see him pass the mark purely in domestic competition.

Saturday night sees the Manchester Phoenix take on the Hull Stingrays at the Altrincham Ice Dome (face-off 6.30pm), before travelling north to Edinburgh on Sunday for a match-up with Hands’ hometown Capitals at the Murrayfield Ice Rink… and a six-point weekend is not an impossible task for the greatest ever British ice hockey star to achieve.

Hand commented, “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t know I was close to 4,000 points, and I’ll be delighted to reach that mark whenever it happens. I’m fully committed to the Phoenix cause and my aim is for the team to win and play well; if I can reach the mark this weekend as well, that would be a bonus, but if it takes longer, as long as we get the results, I'll be happy.”

A Phoenix spokesperson added, “You only have to watch Tony in training or in the heat of a league game to see that despite being the wrong side of 40, he still has the skill, desire and passion to succeed and play well. Ask anyone who has known Tony for any length of time and they’ll tell you that he is an incredible talent, and he’s incredibly modest about his achievements. Four thousand career points in ice hockey is a simply phenomenal figure, and as an unachievable target ranks alongside Dixie Deans’ 60 league goals in one football season, it’ll never be matched.”

Tony Hand

"The Great One" is merely 6 points from a staggering domestic total of 4000.

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