First photos from Legends game

Last night Lions of the past, present and future came together for the Lee Valley Legends game.  It was a close-fought contest with the current team nipping ahead to become the 7-5 victors.  It was great to see so many familiar old faces yesterday and a massive thank-you must go to George Alley, who masterminded the whole thing – not forgetting, of course, all the players who took part and everyone off-ice whose work and dedication went into organising such a great evening’s entertainment.

It felt strange for me, coming back to the Den without a camera in my hand for the first time in many years.  My successor, Pat Ayling, took lots of great photos last night, the first of which is a photos of the teams together, which can be seen here.  In the meantime, I’ve posted a few shots taken by Lola Cook (a member of the Cook family who played such a big part in helping out the original Lions – Mike, Ena, Peter and Julie) and used with kind permission.  You can see them here.

Final Players Announced for Legends’ Team

Biddulph and Class of 2005 return for Anniversary Match.

The Lee Valley Lions have announced the final few players for their Legends’ team to take on the current Lions squad at Lee Valley this Saturday.

Firstly, coming back is hard nosed defenceman Brian Biddulph, who spent two seasons at Lee Valley between 1992 and 1995, joining from Medway Bears in the middle of the season. Biddulph, a former Streatham, Slough, Peterborough, Invicta and Chelmsford player, as well as a Great Britiain junior in his time in South London, scored 19 points in his 36 games for the Lions. During his time at Lea Bridge Road he also racked up a collossal 223 penalty minutes (191 of them in one season!). A colourful character and a popular figure around the dressing room, we’re glad to welcome ‘Biddy’ back to the den.

Biddulph in action.

Biddulph in action.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also coming back to bolster the squad are a group of players who reformed the team in 2005. Returning are Captain Darren Wakeling, Chris Goddard, Michael Ranby, Richard Hodge, Nicky Braithwaite, Romanas Fedotovas, George Alley & Scott Beeson. Wakeling and Goddard only spent one year with the team, but Goddard would go on to play for Haringey Greyhounds and Chelmsford Chieftains, Wakeling (along with Ben Osbourne and goalie Stefan Nubert) even guested for the Edinburgh Capitals when they visited then co-tenants London Racers in the Elite League.. Michael Ranby, a product of the Lee Valley Junior system has gone on to have a successful NIHL 1 career so far with Haringey, Streatham and most recently Chelmsford, winning the league, cup and playoff titles in his two years there. Hodge and Fedotovas have had two spells with the side, both becoming important players for the time in the last couple of years, although Fedotovas has moved on to Haringey this season. Alley, another junior product is now goaltending and under 18′s coach for the club and Beeson is the club’s leading points scorer in the modern Lions’ era, scoring 138 points in 105 games.

One notable absentee from this list is James Scott-Joseph, who will be playing for the current Lions team in the match. Scott-Joseph, son of Eddie is the longest serving player of the modern era and has played in every season since the side reformed, a total of 164 games. It will be the first time that Joseph’s junior and senior have played against each other.

The reformed side of 2005/2006

The reformed side of 2005/2006

Although the side struggled in their first season back (they lost every game…), without the team reforming it is likely that the club would not be celebrating this birthday at all.

The game is this Saturday, the 30th at Lee Valley Ice Centre, face off at 5:15. Tickets for the game are £6 for adults, £3 for concessions and £15 for families. It will be a celebratory day and we look forward to seeing you at the rink.

You can talk abut the game on social media, using the hashtags #ComeToTheDen and #LeeValleyLions.

Wurthman, James and Joseph All Return

The Lee Valley Lions are glad to announce that three men who have overseen three pivotal eras of Lee Valley Ice Hockey are all returning to the Den to play against the current crop of Lions.

Firstly, returning to Lea Bridge Road is Dave Wurthman, the man who coached the first ever Lions’ side when they first face Oxford University in 1984, which they won 11-9. He would lead the side to victories over local rivals London All Stars, Richmond Flyers and Streatham Bruins, as well touring sides like the Lake Shore Kings. Whilst Dave was only with the Lions for a very short period of time, his appearance is one of the most important as we bring together the Lions of the past.

Also returning is former Player Coach and General Manager Steve James. Whilst better known as the man who brought about the change in colours from green, white and blue to black, red and white. James actually joined the side from Streatham Redskins in 1989 when the Lions were still in their original uniforms, and the club didn’t make the change until 1992. In his six seasons at Lea Bridge Road, James played 216 times and amassed 113 points, averaging a point every other game. Steve was one of the longest serving Lions and it is a pleasure to have him return to the Den.

stevejames3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last but certainly not least is Eddie Joseph. The only man who has been with Lee Valley since the club’s inception against Oxford all those years ago, and the only Lions to have his jersey (no 2) retired. Eddies is still involved with the club as Head of Junior Development and General Manager of the current Lions. During his time as a player, Joseph was an imposing Defenceman who served the club for 9 years before retiring and taking up the coaches position. After reforming the junior section in 1998, he would then bring back the Lions after 10 years in hibernation to compete in ENL 1, even playing four times when the team was short of players. His points tally for the Lions totals 121 points in 208 games but, it is his contribution to the club off the ice that is to be celebrated.

eddie-joseph-85

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 30th anniversary match will take place on Saturday the 30th of August at Lee Valley Ice Centre, face off at 5:15.
Tickets are £6 for Adults, £3 for Concessions (OAP’s, Children and Students) and £15 for Families.

Graves & Wren to Mind Legends Goal

The Lions’ Legends side are happy to announce that Jim Graves, and Simon Wren will be taking up residence between the pipes in the 30th anniversary game at Lee Valley Ice Centre on Saturday the 30th of August.

Canadian Graves will return to the den for the first time since 1992 when he iced 34 times for the Lions. In an era of high scoring and little defense, Graves still managed to come 5th in the Netminders stats. After leaving the Lions, Jim went on to play for the Nottingham Panthers in the old Premier Division and then Romford and Belfast side Castlereigh Knights of the Northern Premier League before retiring.

jimgraves-1024x768

Jim Graves in action

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joining Jim will be Peterborough native Simon Wren. The former Great Britain Junior was a loan signing from the Peterborough Pirates in the 93-94 season, and was a very popular addition to squad in his very brief tenure. Wren would go on to feature for the Pirates in the BNL before taking an eleven year break from competitive hockey, eventually joining the Peterborough Islanders in 2009. He played for the ‘Isles for three more years, even scoring a goal as a player (against Lee Valley!) before finally retiring in 2012.

The Game will take place at Lee Valley Ice Centre on Saturday the 30th of August, face off at 5:15pm. Tickets can be purchased on the door and are £6 for Adults, £3 for Concessions and £15 for Families.