Blueliner Guide to the Bracknell Bees

Home: John Nike Leisuresport Complex

League: English Premier League

Colours: Black, Gold

Founded: 1987

The Bracknell Bees may be best described as the gritty side of British ice hockey. Since their beginnings the Bees have risen to the highest points of the sport in the UK and fallen right back to the bottom. But the Bees have always found a way to survive and carry on.

After starting life in the British second division the Bees made slow and steady progress up the league under the ownership of John Nike. The Bees made the top flight in 4 seasons and spent another 4 in the top division before being relegated in 1995.

The Bees did bounce back however and became founder members of the new ISL. Despite facing sides in bigger arenas and with bigger budgets the Bees punched well above their weight. After finishing 6th, 3rd and 4th in the league the Bees shocked everyone and won the Superleague title in 2000; winning the title before the likes of the Sheffield Steelers, Nottingham Panthers and London Knights.

It was a short lived success however as first league winning coach Dave Whistle left for the Belfast Giants then the Bees left the league for the British National League. The smaller financial budget was what the Bees needed and lifted the title in their second season in the BNL.

Yet again however the highlight of a league success was short lived as John Nike sold the club and the BNL folded. This left the Bees in the EPL where they made a promising start with a victory in the EPL cup and a playoff final spot. However the promise that was shown did last as the new owners ran into money trouble and were forced to give up their license to run the club.

The grit and determination of the Bracknell Bees was shown though and the clubs supporters salvaged the club. Keeping them going to this day until a new owner can be brought in.

Whilst the Bees may no longer be considered a top force in their league they are still looked upon fondly as the little team that could. The commitment of their fans to keep their team going is also a complement to the history of the club and that one fateful season when Bracknell where the best team in the UK.


English League Champions -1990

Superleague Champions – 2000

British National League Champions – 2005

Winter Cup Winners – 2005

EPL Cup Winners – 2006, 2008

EPL Champions – 2007

EPL Playoff Champions – 2007

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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