Blueliner Hockey Guide to the Fife Flyers
Colours: White, Gold, Blue
Home Rink: Fife Ice Arena (Formerly Kirkcaldy Ice Rink), Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland
Whilst the name of the Fife Flyers may not be instantly recognisable to many new fans of British ice hockey they are in fact Britainâ€™s oldest ice hockey club. Nestled across the Forth from the Scottish capital the Kirkcaldy ice rink has been home to the Flyers since 1938.
Since their first game against the Dundee Tigers in October 1938 the Flyers have survived everything from wartime black outs, strikes, fires and financial crises whilst other teams such as Ayr Bruins, Dunfermline Vikings and the Paisley Mohawks who were also formed around the same time petered out of existence.
The Flyers were an almost instant success attracting over 3,000 fans to their first game and taking their first league title (Scottish League) title in 1940. The war though put paid to a repeat but the Flyers did host travelling teams from the army and in the post war period hosting Swedish side Vastra Frolunda and the World Champion Team Canada before regaining their league title in 1949 and 1950.
The post war decade was a lean time for the club as trophies became hard to come by as a result of a downturn in attendances and money. It was a trend that was occurring throughout British ice hockey and in 1955 the league was abandoned but the Flyers did manage to keep playing until the hay dayâ€™s returned in the 1960â€™s and 1970â€™s.
This period saw the team start to cement a reputation as the trophies began to come in including the STV and Grandstand (televised competition) trophies. It also saw Fife play on the British stage with the formation of the Northern League.
The success continued in the 1970â€™s with the team winning the Northern League in 1977 and 1978 as well the British Championship in the same years. 1977 also saw the Flyers win the British Grand Slam for the first time and became the first Scottish team not to drop a point in a season.
With an increase in money in the sport the Fife Flyers were part of another boom in British hockey. This time however they were not to be as successful being the nearly team of the decade but they did win the Heineken Premier League title (British Championship) in 1985.
The 1990â€™s and the money race that happened was not kind to the Flyers. The aging Fife Ice Arena with its small capacity and lack of plexi glass and other facilities saw the team miss out on the Superleague. However the Flyers remained a force in the British National League taking a grand slam in 2000 and the BNL title again in 2004.
Without improvement to their facilities the Fife Flyers were cast out of a place in the EIHL when the EIHL took over the BNL in 2005. That decision was one that split ice hockey and saw Fife and Dundee (who leapt to Fifeâ€™s defence) cast to the bottom of the hockey pile. The Flyers duely took their place in the Scottish National League again and won the title in 2006 and 2007 as well as the Northern League title in 4 out 6 years.
The Flyers time in the cold finally game to an end in 2011. The side under new ownership gained some investment and could improve their facilities. This tied in with the vacancy in the EIHL caused by the loss of Newcastle and finally after over 15 years the Flyers were a top-flight team again.
Their first season in the EIHL may not have been the most successful so far with problems around import signings and a late start to the season. But it has seen raising attendances and has brought a good feeling back to British ice hockey in writing a very wrong act.
Celtic League Playoffs:Â 2008/09, 2009/10
Celtic League Cup:Â 2008/09, 2009/10
British National League:Â 1999/2000, 2003/04
Grand Slam:Â 1977,
British Champions:Â 1976/77, 1977/78, 1984/85,
Scottish Premier Hockey League Champions:Â 2007/08
Scottish Premier League Play-off:Â 2007/08
Northern League Play-off:Â 2007/08, 2008/09, 2010/11
Northern League Champions:Â 1976/77, 1977/78, 1996/97, 1997/98, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2010/11
Autumn Cup:Â 1949/50, 1972, 1975, 1976, 2005, 2008
Grandstand Trophy:Â 1964/65, 1966/67
Spring Cup:Â 1974/75, 1975/76, 1976/77
Anderson Trophy:Â 1938/39, 1946/47, 1948/49, 1949/50
Airlie Trophy:Â 1953/54
McPherson Trophy:Â 1939
Silver Jubilee Trophy:Â 1948
Coronation Cup:Â 1948/49
Scottish League:Â 1939/40, 1948/49, 1949/50, 1963/64, 1990/91, 1995/96, 2005/06, 2006/07
Scottish Cup:Â 1984/85, 1993/94, 1994/95, 1997/98, 1998/99, 1999/2000, 2000/01, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2008/09, 2009/10
Skol Cup:Â 1964, 1964/65, 1966/67, 1967/68, 1970/71, 1973/74, 1976/77
Scottish Canada Cup:Â 1949/50
STV Trophy:Â 1964/65
Directors Trophy:Â 1965
Cola-Cola Trophy:Â 1964/65
Slapshot Trophy:Â 1977
Evening News Trophy:Â 1976/77
Forth Challenge Trophy:Â 1983
Northumbria Cup:Â 1976/77
Taws Trophy:Â 1990/91
Christmas Cup:Â 1999/2000
Caledonia Cup:Â 2002/03, 2003/04
Findus Challenge Cup:Â 2001/02
BLUELINER TRAVEL HOCKEY INFORMATION: FIFE