British ice hockey community Hands it to Tony

Sunday, 2nd August 2015

Phoenix Head Coach Tony Hand has been voted Player of the Century at an event to celebrate 100 years of British ice hockey – and he immediately declared: “It’s all about the team”.

The Manchester chief scooped his latest award during Saturday night’s ceremony in Durham, which was attended by players and coaches from across the world.

Hand was the first British-trained player to be drafted into the NHL, in 1986, before winning countless league titles and cups throughout a 32-year senior career.

He retired from playing at the end of last season - twelve months after guiding the Phoenix to their second EPL title – and was delighted to receive another honour.

Hand said: “To win something like this, in front of players and coaches from the last 100 years, was truly humbling for me. But to be honest, in ice hockey, it’s all about the team.

“It’s not just me who has won this award. It is the guys I have played alongside and the coaches I have worked with. Having the respect of them is very special.

“There are some really great players who deserve this, like David Longstaff or Jonathan Weaver, which makes it even more of an honour. It was also great to see Jonker win an award as well.

“We have got some excellent people working with Manchester Phoenix now, which means next season is going to be very exciting. I can’t wait for it to start.”

The event, at Ramside Hall in Durnham, was set up by former players Scott Plews and Frankie Killen, as an ‘unofficial’ celebration of 100 years of organised ice hockey in the UK.

Mr Plews said: “The awards were voted for by players, coaches and journalists from the last 100 years of British ice hockey. The voting process for Tony was unanimous.

“It was great to see so many people there from British ice hockey, and there were lots of standing ovations. It was good to be involved in something like this.”

Tony Hand Face-off

Tony Hand

Manchester Phoenix Supporters Club

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