The Manchester ice hockey community will join together in June for a special All-Star event to raise funds for families of the victims of the Manchester Arena bomb attack.
Former Manchester Phoenix boss Tony Hand and new Manchester Storm head coach Ryan Finnerty will lead a Manchester Legends team and a UK All-Star team for a one-off game designed to help people impacted by this week’s tragic events in the city.
Telford Tigers supporter Richard Mothersdale came up with the idea to stage an event after learning of Monday’s bombing at the Ariana Grande concert.
With the help of other fans on social media this quickly came to fruition.
“I have an 11-year-old daughter who is an Ariana Grande fan herself and it could easily have been her at the concert,” said Mothersdale.
“With Manchester’s history of ice hockey and being a fan myself, I wondered if a charity event could be organised involving a game to bring fans together against terrorism.
“I thought the idea over during the day and that’s when I put a post on Facebook to gauge interest.
“Reaction was fantastic with a large number of fans supporting the idea and also a lot of players saying they would be up for playing.
“A fan suggested contacting Tony Hand to get the ball rolling. He responded saying he had seen the social media comments and was looking at logistics of staging the event.”
Mothersdale’s idea has now become reality with the confirmation that Altrincham Ice Rink will host the special event on Saturday 10th June.
Hand says his affinity with Manchester after a long spell in charge of Phoenix led to him embracing the suggestion that the sport should rally round.
“Manchester is a very special city and I know that I am not the only one that is devastated by recent events,” said Hand.
“Over the past few days players and hockey fans have contacted me to see if there is anything that the sport ice hockey could do to show support for the city of Manchester.
“I will be contacting everybody I know to ask for their support and looking to recruit a fantastic selection of players.
“As well as Phoenix and Storm players I will be asking players from the other clubs based out of Altrincham to play, as I think it’s important that all of Manchester ice hockey is represented.”