Edinburgh ice hockey legend Tony Hand MBE, said being inducted into the International Ice Hockey Federation’s hall of fame as “the pinnacle of my career”.
He was inducted yesterday in a ceremony held in Cologne, Germany.
Hand, winner of the 2017 Richard Torriani Award, which recognises the careers of players from ice-hockey nations who play outwith the top tier of the sport, shared the stage with fellow inductees, including NHL superstars Joe Sakic and Teemu Sellane.
He spent 14 seasons with the Murrayfield Racers at the beginning of a remarkable playing career that spanned more than 30 years, scoring over 4000 points at the top level of ice hockey in the UK before retiring two years ago at the age of 47.
An emotional Hand, said: “I am honoured, and privileged to be here to accept this award, I am overwhelmed.
“I started playing hockey when I was nine, my dad passed away when I was seven and my mum brought us up. The sacrifices she made for me to get here, it’s such an honour.
“I would like to thank the IIHF council members for the nomination. I would like to thank my team-mates, my coaches, Ice Hockey UK and the fans who have supported me throughout my career.”
Hand also thanked his family, including wife Melissa and children Paul and Sarah, before continuing: “It is the pinnacle of my career to get here, something I never ever dreamed of.”
Hand who played and coached for eight different British clubs, was often described as the “Scottish Wayne Gretzky”. He attended two Edmonton Oilers training camps as a youngster in the 1980s, alongside “the great one”, and was offered two contracts by the NHL outfit, turning them both down to return to Edinburgh.