Iredale prepares to ice up in Legends game

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HILLHEADS legend Johnny Iredale is preparing to ice up once more for the Whitley Warriors.

Iredale will be donning the maroon and gold of his hometown team when he lines up for the Warriors against old foes Durham Wasps in the Legends game at Whitley Bay Ice Rink on May 6.

Iredale will also be joined by former team-mates Wayne Dunn and Tony Jones, both stalwarts of the Whitley side during the 1980s and 1990s.

Dunn made more than 90 appearances for the Warriors between 1988 and 1995, as well as shaving pells at Blackburn and Lee Valley in division one.

He was also part of the Warriors v Wasps revival game in 2008.

Jones iced in more than 150 games between 1987 and 1992, and May’s Derby Day encounter will be his first Legends appearance.

Iredale, regarded by many as ‘Mr Whitley Warriors’ during the Heineken era, was the lynchpin of the Hillheads side’s forward line as they challenged for honours during the 1980s and 1990s.

His physical, aggressive play symbolised the Warriors’ hard-hitting but effective style of the time, and his goal-scoring prowess terrorised teams up and down the country, netting more than 300 goals for Whitley during his 12 seasons as a Warrior.

In 1992 Johnny was also part of the Great Britain World Championships gold medal winning Pool C team, and made numerous appearances for the national team.

The following year, Iredale signed for bitter rivals Durham in a shock switch to the Riverside Rink.

Picking up a Castle Eden Cup winners medal in 1994, Iredale also proved to be the Wasps hero the following year, netting in overtime during the semi-final against Humberside to set up yet another Durham v Whitley clash, this time facing-off against his hometown club in what was to be the last ever Castle Eden Cup final.

Iredale returned to the Warriors at the start of the 1995-96 season, during their tenure under the name of Newcastle, in the inaugural season of ice hockey at the newly built Newcastle Arena.

When the Warriors returned to their spiritual home the following season, so did Iredale, completing his final season with the Warriors in the newly formed British National League.

The Wasps v Warriors Legends game will face-off at 5pm.

Tickets are available from www.legendsicehockey.co.uk/tickets priced at £10 for adults and £5 for concessions.