Episode S1E22. The Gavin Fraser Interview.
Today’s show features former Aviemore Blackhawks and Nottingham Panthers forward Gavin Fraser.
Gavin grew up in the Scottish Highlands and had to walk six miles to get to his local ice rink.
As a kid he was a regular ice skater but didn’t take up playing hockey until he was thirteen, he recalls:
“I went to see a game one day and thought I’ll just try that and see what happens”
We talk of his first season in Nottingham, former Aviemore team mate John Bremner had made the same move the year before and had recommended the club to him.
Gavin decided to visit Nottingham for a holiday and stayed for a whole season, playing 45 times, usually on the right wing, he scored 29 goals and 18 assists.
However at the end of the season he couldn’t wait to go home to the Highlands, determined never to return, city life was too fast and too noisy.
Gavin soon discovered life in the Scottish Highlands was exactly the opposite, much too quiet and so in August 1983 he rejoined the Panthers – he’s lived in Nottingham ever since.
Legendary for his one liners, practical jokes and game commentaries, Gavin’s former team mates remember him just as much for being a character off the ice as on it. Here’s what former team mates Marc “Smurf” Twaite (Podcast Episode 002) , Graham Waghorn (Podcast Episode 006) and Robin Andrew had to say:
“I enjoyed my first season as a Panther with Gav who was a real character, I’ll never forget a certain Wembley weekend plus his standard party trick of leaving his false teeth in the boys pints!”
Marc “Smurf” Twaite.
“Big Gav was hilarious, the life and soul of the dressing room and a really great guy too”
“Big Gav is a British Ice Hockey Treasure! He should go straight into the Hall of Fame – he’s a one-off”
Moving on and Gavin was to play 11 seasons for the Nottingham Panthers before hanging up his skates early into the 1992 – 93 season after spending too much time bench warming.
During his time he played in two Autumn Cup finals, winning both and two Wembley Playoff Championship finals, winning one.
Gavin Fraser was a firm favourite with team mates and fans alike.
Thanks for the memories “Big Gav”.
Shout Out Time
Today’s shoutout goes to Cardiff Devils fan Will Wilshaw, who wrote:
“Just listened to the Ivan Matulik Podcast.It was excellent! How about having Paul Heavey on the show?”
I’ll see what I can do, Wil.
If you’re enjoying the Podcasts I would really appreciate it if you would leave a rating, preferably a 5 star rating and a review on iTunes or Stitcher Radio.
Reading your reviews gives me a great boost, it’ll also help the Podcast get found by others.
You can read other reviews and even leave one yourself by following this iTunes link.
Today’s Guest Sponsor is the 100 Years UK Hockey event, which is being held at the Ramside Hotel in Durham on Friday 31st July, Saturday 1st August and Sunday 2nd August. Fishing and Golf days planned and rounded off with a grand Gala Dinner
Hockey Legends already confirmed are:
Tony Hand, Alex Dampier, Gary Stefan, Peter “Jonker” Johnson, Chuck Taylor, Les Millie, Graham Waghorn, Marc Twaite and Nicky Chinn.
It’s going to be a fantastic One Off Event and may never happen again – I have my tickets, have you?
For more information please visit their website here