EDINBURGH-BORN Tony Hand has been voted British ice hockey’s ‘Player of the Century’.
The now retired Murrayfield Racers, Dundee Stars and Ayr Scottish Eagles forward received the award at an event in Durham attended by players and coaches from across the world to celebrate 100 years of British ice hockey.
Hand, now coach of Manchester Phoenix, was the first British-trained player to be drafted into the National Hockey League by Canadian side Edmonton Oilers in 1987.
The 47-year-old, who was awarded the MBE for his services to the sport, went on to help British teams claim countless league titles and cups throughout a 32-year senior career.
He retired from playing at the end of last season, 12 months after guiding the Phoenix to their second English Premier League title.
Hand said: “To win something like this, in front of players and coaches from the last 100 years was truly humbling, 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.
The event was set up by former players, Kirkcaldy-based Scott Plews, a former Fife Flyers star, and Frankie Killen, as an unofficial celebration of 100 years of organised ice hockey in the UK.
Plews said: “The awards were voted for by players, coaches and journalists from the last 100 years of British ice hockey. The voting for Tony was unanimous.”