Tony Hand talks about the Phoenix Community Foundation

Tuesday, 6th March 2012

Well, I don’t know what to say about the owner of this club. It is my belief that not many people would have taken on a liquidated hockey club in the first place, but then to have to find a council to give him some land, build an Arena for 2,000 people, bring ice sports back to life in Manchester and then convince me to play on the road for half a season, I don’t think you would describe these circumstances as normal.

However, even me and the guys in the changing room thought it was a prank when we were told that he was going to learn to skate in 6 weeks and turn out with the rest of us for a Premier League game. What does he do on his first time out coming off the ice? , collides with a small child and breaks his wrist. So that would be that for a normal person, however he now intends to come back and do it in less than 3 weeks. Look up ‘normal’ in the dictionary - it must have a different meaning than where I am from.

So why would he do this? I can answer that as it is something very important to both of us and something we both believe is integral to this club surviving over the next few years. It has been a hard year for the foundation losing 90% of it’s sponsors. I know Neil has tried hard to prop up both the foundation and the club once again while we try and make our way through the worst recession this country has seen for a very long time. The guys and I really respect everything Neil does behind the scenes but he is only one man and I think it’s time we all got involved and helped.

The Manchester Phoenix Community Foundation has brought more new people to hockey this season than any other source. It has brought young children that would probably never get a chance to come and watch live sports. It allows us to get into schools and educate children about drug abuse, healthy eating, bullying and general fitness. We have formulated partnerships with many disabled charities , opening the door for many more young people to enjoy the Phoenix experience. The foundation is just about to launch a sledge hockey team, teach young disadvantaged and unemployed teenagers the basics of hockey and is looking to set up a women’s team here in Manchester. The Foundation is becoming the conduit between the club and the community.

The target is to raise £5000 together. Please get involved and pledge an amount, even if you take it to work and get 5 of your colleagues to put a pound in each, that would really help. There are pledge forms downloadable from the link below or via the Manchester Phoenix Community Foundation site. You can also pick up a form from Margaret Pullen in the bar, Norma Harrop at the front door and of course the Supporters Club desk under Block 7.

So come on Phoenix fans, let’s get this target broken. You can follow our progress on the front page of the Foundation page.


Tony Hand MBE.



Manchester Phoenix Community Sports Foundation Logo

Manchester Phoenix Community Sports Foundation

Tony Hand

Tony Hand MBE

Manchester Phoenix Supporters Club

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