Episode S1E11. The john Lawless Interview.
In this episode I interview former Peterborough Pirates, Cardiff Devils, Manchester Storm and Telford Tigers player and coach, forward John Lawless.
We discuss why he chose the Peterborough Pirates over the more established Nottingham Panthers and of the successes of the Pirates plus the various characters that played during that time.
In 1986 John moved on to become the player coach of a new team in Cardiff, called the Devils, when he moved to the newly built Wales National Arena.
The new Devils supporters however had to wait until the end of November before they could watch their new heroes skate out on home ice, although maybe it was worth the wait as they beat the poor Ashfield Islanders 32 – 0.
Promotion quickly followed and John recalls the first season in the British League’s top division and how they took the league by storm by doing “the double” in winning both the League Championship and the Heineken Playoff trophy.
John is rightly proud of the successes he helped achieve in Cardiff but his proudest moment I believe is the success his team achieved in competing with the very best teams in Europe by being the first British team to get to the semi finals of the European Championship in 1993.
Fast forward and after 9 successful seasons we learn how after losing in the 1995 Heineken Playoff Championships semi finals John’s disappointment was somewhat curbed when he was approached by an executive from Ogden Entertainments, the owners of the new Manchester Ice Hockey franchise to become their new player coach.
The new team, soon to be named the Manchester Storm, were to play in the new £56 million “Nynex Arena” in the centre of the city and after a highly successful promotion winning first season, John talks of how, with the inception of the ISL (Ice Hockey SuperLeague), things started to go wrong from day one.
We conclude the show by talking briefly of his time with the Telford Tigers and of his reunion when the Cardiff Devils celebrated their 25th anniversary back in September 2011.
I also give a shout out to “Giby” for his iTunes 5 star rating and also to Telford Tigers owner Wayne Scholes and apologise for forgetting his last name when discussing the new Tigers ownership with John Lawless.
The sponsor of this episode is once again CrazyKennys Hockey Shop Right Service, Right Prices, every time.