Episode S1E08. The Gary Stefan Interview.
How many hockey players can say that they know Wayne Gretzky, not only that but that they played together in the same hockey team, the Brantford Nadrofsky Steelers and also shared a “back yard ice rink” at home in Brantford Ontario.
After finishing college in 1980 Gary came to the UK to work in his aunts sports shop in Knightsbridge, knowing his love for hockey his aunt managed to secure the interest of both the Richmond Flyers and Streatham Redskins Ice Hockey teams.
So Gary joined the Flyers simply because it was easier to get to Richmond than it was to get to Streatham, even though the Richmond rink wasn’t quite up to the quality of the Canadian rinks back home in Ontario.
The following season Gary moved to the Streatham Redskins which was a bit of a surprise given Gary’s original intension was to spend a year in the UK and then return to Canada to figure out “the rest of his life”.
The Redskins were a very good team back in the early to mid 80’s with a rich history, a great tradition and quite a bit of success.
By the time Gary moved on to become Hockey co-ordinator of the new Slough Jets team he had played 5 seasons for the Redskins racking up 670 points of which 436 were goals.
Over the next 13 seasons Gary guided the Jets to the following championships:
London Cup (1988 – 89)
Heineken Division 1 Champions (1989 – 90)
Southern Cup Champions (1989 – 90)
British Division 1 Champions (1990 – 91)
British Division 1 Champions (1994 – 95)
Benson & Hedges Plate Championship (1994 – 95)
BNL League Champions (1997 – 98)
Gary retired after the 1998 – 99 season and was inducted into the British Hockey Hall of Fame in 2000.
Shout out time
I also give a shout out to the guys at the Cats Whiskers Podcast who continue to produce a great show that is definitely worth a listen.
Finally I give a BIG shout out thank you to all you guys that have and continue to listen to the Old Time Hockey UK Podcast.
Over the last few weeks we have had listeners from the UK, US, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, The Netherlands, Russia and Sweden – thanks again guys.