Club Legend To Retire

Club captain Darren Elliott has announced he is retiring at the end of the season after 29 years.

Elliott said: “It’s been an incredible journey, but the time has come to retire from playing.

“I am still contributing, but I’m one of the oldest players in the league and there comes a time when it feels right to call it a day. It’s an emotional time and it will be tough to let go. I want to go out on a high and we’re fully focused on trying to retain some silverware this season.

“Thank you to everyone who has supported me over the years, my family, coaches, players, fans, staff and sponsors.”

The Stars stalwart has made a record-breaking number of appearances for the Stars, amassing almost 400 games for the club after breaking into the first team squad in 1996 as a 15-year-old (he scored on his debut and got an assist).

Elliott joined the Stars’ Junior Club aged 10 in 1990, after his Dad, Norman, a fellow club legend, introduced him to the sport. He immediately took to ice hockey and dedicated his life to the sport and Oxford City Stars.

Elliott has seen it all at Oxpens, from title winning seasons, to the club folding and re-building and has played with most of the players to have worn the shirt.

He even spent two seasons as player coach – and scooped trophies and the Coach of the Year Award at the Oxfordshire Sports Awards.

“It’s been a childhood dream to play for my home club,” he said. “I’ve been through every era of the club really and there are so many memories.

“There have been tough times, but so many great years.

“I’ve made so many friends through ice hockey and the club.”

In his 29 years in the game Elliott has only spent two seasons away from Oxpens – with one season at Basingstoke and one at Chelmsford, after the Stars folded. The club re-formed and Elliott swiftly returned.

“Oxford is my home and it’s such a special club,” said Elliott. “I’ve had plenty of offers to play elsewhere over the years for good money, but this is where I wanted to be.

“It’s never been about money. Oxford is a different club, there’s a bond between everyone.

“It’s one big family and a true brotherhood.”

Elliott is irreplaceable and will be sorely missed. But thankfully he will remain part of the Stars family.

“I’ll still coach the Juniors every Wednesday,” he said. “They’re the future. I can’t walk away completely; Oxford City Stars means so much to me and it’s important we keep attracting people to the club and the sport.”

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