ICE hockey fans are gearing up for the renewal of one of the biggest rivalries in the sport.
Legends from Whitley Warriors and Durham Wasps are getting their skates on for a rival match on Sunday at the Warriors’ Hillheads home for the Ken Swinburne Memorial Cup.
Whitley Warriors Legends forward Martin King said he cannot wait to face the old foes.
“It is great to catch up with everyone and all the guys seem very excited about the game,” he said.
“When it comes to the game there will be no love lost between the two teams.
“We want revenge for the last game four years ago and no doubt Durham will be looking to win as well.
“Games in the past between Durham and Whitley were always fierce affairs with everyone playing with passion and wanting to win.”
Martin, who also played for Newcastle Vipers during his 20-year career, added: “Although not known for my skills, I did provide entertainment for the crowd with my hard, and sometimes a little too hard-working for the referees, aggressive style.
“On several occasions I was lucky enough to receive the supporters’ player of the year.”
One of the biggest names in Whitley Warriors history has agreed to run the bench as head coach for the team.
Alfie Miller, who became a household name in the hockey hotbed of the north east, will take to the bench.
In 580 games for the Warriors, spread over a mammoth 19 seasons, Miller scored an incredible 1,265 points by way of 549 goals and 716 assists, and his sportsmanship certainly shone through by only amassing a miserly 197 minutes of penalties.
Miller made his England debut against Scotland aged just 16. He was also chosen for four consecutive GB entries in Pool C of the world championships, 1976 in Poland, 1977 in Denmark, 1979 in Spain and 1981 in China.
In a game noted for big hard hitting players, Miller, at 5ft 6ins, showed he matched and often outwitted the opposition with his tremendous skating and stick handling skills.
The match will be officiated by former referee Nico Toeman, who will be flying in from his home in Tilburg, the Netherlands.
He said: “I am really looking forward to the game between two big clubs in the history of the sport in the UK.
“I have fond memories of games between Durham and Whitley, you had to watch everything, and especially behind your back.
“There was always something going on, but the players could give and take, that’s why we could let the game flow then.
“There are so many players I haven’t seen in so many years and I can’t wait to catch up with them.”
Tickets for the game are still on sale priced at £10 for adults and £5 for concessions.
Tickets can be purchased from www.legendsicehockey.co.uk/tickets or from the Whitley Bay Ice Rink box office.
For further information visit www.legendsicehockey.co.uk