End of Season Fun At Wild Player Awards Night
Netminder Barry Sprakes receives the Players’ Player of the Season Award from Wild Assistant Coach Mark Gillingham (left) and Player / Head Coach Ollie Barron (right). Sprakes made history this season by becoming the first Widnes born and trained player to play league ice hockey for the Wild men’s team.
Following on from the Wild’s success in winning back-to-back Play Off trophies, the Widnes ice hockey club held their annual Awards Evening at the Ex Servicemen’s Club in Rainhill.
The event was attended by players, coaches and team staff from the Wild team, the Wild women’s team and the Wild junior academy – as well as the many fans, friends and club volunteers and sponsors who all made such a significant contribution to the running of the various teams over the course of the season.
The winners of the player awards were:
Best Defence – Simon Offord
Best Forward – Nick Manning
Most Improved Player – Dan Bracegirdle
Players’ Player – Barry Sprakes
Coaches’ Player – Matt Croyle
Supporters’ Player Of The Season – Matt Croyle
Wild player coach Ollie Barron commented:
“It was a really difficult job selecting the winners of the various awards as a number of players had great seasons. The presentation evening was a huge success and it was great to see so many fans and players celebrating our season. My special thanks to the organisers.”
Wild’s Tom Jackson has his hair cut off by Josh Grocutt at the Awards Night in aid of the Little Princess Trust.
The Awards night also included an unusual floorshow as Wild defenceman Tom Jackson had his lavish locks cut off to help raise funds for charity.
The hitherto hairy hockey player explained how it all came about:
“A few months ago, the Widnes Wild women’s team raffled a signed hockey stick and I somehow agreed to shave my head in aid of raising more money towards their Team travel expenses for away games.”
“Fortunately, I’m sticking to my word and am also taking this opportunity to help raise money for the Little Princess Trust – which is a charity that helps children and young people up to the age of 24 who have lost their own hair through cancer treatments and other illness by providing them with free wigs made from real hair.”
“The good thing is that my own hair is now long enough to be donated to the Little Princess Trust as well, where it can be made into a wig”
The deed was done by Widnes ice hockey’s very own professional barber Josh Grocutt – who used to play for the Wild and now turns out for the Halton Huskies rec team – with the hair being collected to be sent off for use by the charity.
Tom has already raised over £700 for the Little Princess Trust and you can support his fundraising efforts via his Just Giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ttgw
The Wild’s league season may be over but there is still plenty of ice hockey to be seen at Planet Ice Widnes over the summer months as the Riverside Raiders team are taking part in the Summer Classic Cup again this year, hoping to emulate the Wild and retain the play-off trophy they won in the 2017 competition.
Their next game is a north west local derby – at home to the Deeside-based Flintshire Phantoms on Sunday 6th May at Planet Ice Widnes. Face of is at 4.30pm and admission is free.
Report by Paul Breeze – www.icehockeyreview.co.uk
Photos by Geoff White – www.gw-images.com