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Thursday, 19 November 2015

Forty Not Out - The Ice Hockey Annual 2015/16 Edited by Stewart Roberts

Well, I said it last year and I’ll say it again even more forcefully this year, having spent most of my own summer putting together the Ice Hockey Review NIHL Yearbook I am probably one of the few people in the world - who is not related to him – who knows exactly how much work Stewart Roberts puts into producing the absolutely excellent “Ice Hockey Annual” every year. 

And he has been doing it for 40 years now. That is longer than most of the players featured in it have been on this earth and certainly longer than I knew that such a thing as British ice hockey even existed.    So hats off to Stewart Roberts – and may he continue doing it for another 40 years!

Most people just look at the finished article and think “oh yeah - great book…” – but if you actually look at all the different things that are in there and how much work has been put into gathering all that information together from numerous different sources and then putting it into a workable format, that really is a Herculean effort in itself. 

But the trick then is to make it so that the book is attractive to the eye and easy to read for the casual fan while remaining highly useful and informative for the statistician and hockey journalist.

Now, I do not follow the NHL and I am not overly enamoured of the Elite League in its present set-up but I find myself being captivated reading the quotes of the year from the various personalities and how the season unfolded in both the Elite and English Premier Leagues. So I would definitely recommend buying this.

In his own words, Stewart describes the Annual as follows:

“It has been dubbed by the fans as ‘the bible' of the sport as it contains reports, statistics and photos for every major club and competition.   Much of this information is not available anywhere else, not even on the internet.

This year’s book - the record busting 40th edition! - is another colourful package, full of information about the UK game, laced with international events like the World Championships and the European Champions League.  This has been made possible thanks to our major sponsor, Canadian Spa Company, and our other generous backers."

Among the great features this time are –
* An in-depth look at the amazing and unique career of our own Great One, Tony Hand MBE
* Complete coverage of the leading clubs in statistics and end-of-term reports, plus team pics.
* How Britain's men and women won silver medals in the World Championships.
* Biographies of some of the game’s best players and personalities.
* Latest news of the new rinks in Bristol, Cambridge and Cardiff Bay.
* Our ever popular Quotes of the Year.
* 176 pages in colour.

The Annual is on sale, price £9.95, at all major ice rinks, or post free direct from the website at


And, of course, it makes a great Christmas present!