After recruiting 58 players who all want to come and honour the Slough Jets at the upcoming charity legends game the final two players to be announced are the two #17s
Craig Moran will be lacing up his skates for the game, wearing the number he wore through his junior and ED1 career with the permission of Slough’s only #17. After qualifying as a coach Craig became a familiar figure at the Junior training sessions, imparting his knowledge of and enthusiasm for the game onto upcoming players. In addition Craig was a huge part of the forming management of recreational team Slough Satans in an effort to make learning the game and entry to playing easier for previously non-playing adults.
Craig joined the Slough Jets coaching set up as Assistant Coach in the 2005/06 season and enjoyed his first taste of senior coaching success as Assistant Coach at the 2008/09 English Premier Ice Hockey League Play-offs where alongside Head Coach Steve Moria the duo guided the Jets to success. Following a spell as Assistant Coach with Basingstoke Bison Craig was back behind the bench with the Slough Jets when he and Peter Russell lifted the Premier Cup on home ice and a year later he and Doug Sheppard lifted the Play-off trophy again at Coventry. In 2013/14 Craig took the reigns of his home town club becoming Head Coach.
Looking forward to the Legends Game Craig Moran said; “It’s now the time we have revealed all the players for the game. I still can’t believe how many people we have playing in this special game. The day is going to be one to remember with some good hockey, catching up with old and new friends at the rink and also the after party. It has been worth the hard work to make the game possible and it will be a very good day.”
And that leaves just one announcement and the best is saved for last.
In 1986 Gary Stefan, from Brantford, Ontario was employed by Slough Borough Council as part of the Management team at Slough Ice Arena and to create Slough’s very own ice hockey team. Gary founded the Slough Jets in the summer of 1986 and the team drew top quality players from the local areas and also high quality imports. The team played it’s very first game behind closed doors as technical delays prevented the ice arena from opening to the public in time but with Gary at the helm the team went from nothing to one of the pinnacles of the local community almost overnight. Capacity crowds were soon filling the Hangar and it didn’t take long for the new team to win their first trophy.
Gary came to Slough from Streatham and was just 1 point short of 100 in his first Jets season from just 27 games. The next season he flew past 100 points and his reputation grew and grew. Gary represented Great Britain in 1990/91 and 1991/92 and went on to Coach and Manage the National Team following his retirement. Having lost the majority of a season early in the 90s through injury in the mid 90s Gary was at the top of his form, and enjoyed continued personal success while watching the club he founded, built up and managed achieve success too with league and cup wins.
In 1997/98 Gary was a part of the B&H Plate winning team and again in 1998/99 he was a part of the BNL winning team that went undefeated at home. Gary was a highly skilled player but also a great reader of the game, meaning he knew where and who to feed the puck to or where to be to receive pucks and create scoring opportunities. Following the 98/99 season Gary announced his retirement from the game and his #17 jersey was retired.
A car accident ahead of the 25th Anniversary Game meant Gary couldn’t lace up for that game but the biggest of all Slough Legends will be taking to the ice on July 19th for what promises to be a fantastic charity celebration.
Gary leads the Jets in goals, assists and points. He played 432 games, scored 546+486 for nearly 2.5 points a game and his penalty tally totalled 1077.
Gary Stefan said of the game; “I’m really excited about the game and overwhelmed about the huge number of people coming back to support the club and to maintain the history. Slough Jets played a big part in a lot of people’s lives as well as mine and to be able to get everyone together every so often to play and represent the club as fantastic. It’s good for the fans too as they’ve been a big part of the club as well over the years and I hope everyone enjoys the celebration.”
These two announcements conclude the playing squad at 60 Jets Legends.
Mark Denholm added to Craig and Gary’s comments; “It’s humbling to see that players and officials are so readily willing to come and take part in this game. Some have played many years, some a handful of games but they’ve all been a part of the Jets journey and they’ve all earned the right to be on the Legends Ice. It’s great to see the players so pumped and the Jets fans pumped as well. There’s not been much to cheer about for Jets fans this summer but this should prove to be a great day great day’s fun and entertainment and hopefully we’ll be generating some funds for SPICE and the Lymphoma Association. Come on down and join us at the rink for a fun afternoon and if you can make it to the evening After Party you’ll be more than welcome too.”
With the squad now complete sponsors will be contacted in order of their application to choose their player. There’s still sponsorship opportunities available so secure yours by emailing Mark Denholm.
There’s exactly seven days left to buy a ticket for the After Party which takes place at the Copthorne Hotel from 7pm. Due to having to give the hotel final numbers a week ahead of the evening tickets for the after party will stop selling after July 11th.
Tickets for the game will be on sale right up until the event subject to availability. They can be purchased in advance or on the day itself and are priced at £10 for adults and £5 for children.
Tickets for the game and after party are available from Absolutely Ice reception. To confirm their opening hours please call 01753 894810.
For further information please email Mark Denholm – firstname.lastname@example.org