A City United in Hockey

Largest attendance at a UK hockey game at the Manchester Arena

I in no way wish to linger on Monday nights events in Manchester more than I have to. However I did want to put down some personal thoughts.

The Manchester Arena is a venue that is in the hearts of many in Manchester. As a music venue it has played host to many hundreds of acts but many in Manchester and beyond will have first encountered it as a sporting venue and as the home of the Manchester Storm it drew in hockey fans from Cardiff to Sheffield and from Basingstoke to Belfast.

The area where the bomb went off will be familiar to all. For those parking in the arena or arriving by train it was the area where a wall of noise and people queuing for tickets and entrance hit you as you came up the steps. I can remember the lines of people stretching from the arena doors and box office back almost to the station.

The hockey may have moved out many years ago but the impact it had and memories it created make Monday’s catastrophe really hit home. I am not familiar with Ariana Grande or her work but due to that familiarity you could easily¬†imagine the people leaving her concert and the scene as people meet and made their way home.

From myself and everyone at Blueliner Hockey our hearts and thoughts go out to all those caught up in this most heinous act.

In part due to the link between the sport and the arena it is wonderful to see that in 2 weeks time on 10th June there will be a hockey match at the ice dome in Altrincham in aid of the victims. Mostly though I am so pleased this is happening as it will give the city of Manchester an early opportunity to show it is a City United.

Neil Tucker

Neil has written on ice hockey for many websites concentrating on British ice hockey mostly. Neil also covers ice hockey in other countries and organises his Blueliner Hockey Tour. A graduate of the Manchester Metropolitan University Neil turned his hand to hockey writing in 2009. As well as contributing on Blueliner Hockey Neil has contributed to Get Real Hockey and Slapshot Magasine.

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