S2E07 – The Paul Hand Podcast Interview
In today’s show I interview former Murrayfield Racers, Solihull Barons, Peterborough Pirates, Fife Flyers, Paisley Pirates and Great Britain D-Man Paul Hand.
We talk of his early years in Edinburgh, where going to the Murrayfield ice rink was simply a “way of life”, of how he made his way through the junior ice hockey teams before making his debut for the first team Racers at Glasgow’s Crossmyloof ice rink.
I asked Paul who the biggest ice hockey influence of his career was, without any hesitation he replied ‘Alex Dampier’.
He tells of how, one day, Canadian Alex simply walked into the Murrayfield ice rink, introduced himself, put on a pair of ice skates and basically took over and restructured the whole set up, paving the way for the success that was to follow.
We talk of the success that Paul and the Racers enjoyed under Alec Dampier, with Northern League and Autumn Cup successes and Wembley playoff appearances, before being tempted over the border by both the Solihull Barons and the Peterborough Pirates.
His first move saw him play just 10 games for the Barons before returning home to Murrayfield to become a part of their very first League Championship winning team.
The next three seasons saw the Racers win another League championship as well as making several trips to the Wembley Play Off finals and we discuss the “Wembley experience” in detail
At the beginning of the 1989 – 90 season the Peterborough Pirates made Paul a financial offer he couldn’t refuse, however the club’s unstable financial affairs meant that after only 28 league and cup games he once more returned to Scotland.
However this time, he chose to sign for the Racers arch rivals, the Fife Flyers, a move that angered both Racers and Flyers fans alike, we talk of his time as a Flyer and how he was booed off the ice by his own Fife fans, simply for protecting one of his team mates.
We also talk of his time in Paisley as both player and player coach, the latter position he vowed never to do again.
I asked Paul if he’d ever played against brother Tony and if so, how did he defend against him. I also asked how he felt about being in the shadow of Tony, who was, without a doubt, the finest ice hockey player this country has ever produced.
My first Shout Out shout goes to Paul’s brother, Tony Hand, who has just been inducted into the IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation) Hockey Hall of Fame.
I’m sure that this would have happened some time ago, had Tony not decided to carry on playing until he was 49!
My second Shout Out goes to David “Stef” Litchfield, Stef has been the Nottingham Panthers announcer for the last 18 years – ever since the previous announcer was knocked senseless by a flying ice hockey puck – courtesy of former Panthers D-Man, Chuck Taylor’s errant clearance.
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