|January 20, 2018||5:30 pm||National Ice Hockey League||2017/2018|
|12||Thomas “Ziggy” Beesley||Forward||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
Head Coach: Scott Spearing
It’s nearly time!
If you want to go ahead and register your interest in the Raiders homecoming game on 3rd February then please go and visit the link below, fill in your details and you will be added to the list to be notified of ticket availability before they go on sale to the general public!
Here is the link that you need…
|January 6, 2018||6:30 pm||National Ice Hockey League||2017/2018|
|12||Thomas “Ziggy” Beesley||Forward||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
For Raiders fans there will be a number of dates that stick in our minds when reminiscing about the Gold and Blue. For some it is the first game they went to, the opponent and the final score and not having a clue what was going on but cheering anyway. For others it was a birthday when they were presented with a match puck or perhaps presented MOM beers to their favourite player. Some tend to harbour memories of cup and play off finals and fancy dress and occasional road trips.
Most however will remember 14th April 2013 when Rom Valley Way hosted its final Raiders game and the IOW didn’t even have the decency to let us win!
A tearful farewell for hundreds of fans that packed the rink that evening having seen over 25 years of drama with families and friends that developed as we all aged. Awful losses and brilliant victories all etched in our memories.
We left the old building not entirely convinced that the Raiders would survive till a new rink was built. Indeed many doubted that a new rink would ever be built.
Today’s announcement may be another treasured moment but more likely it is the subject of this message that will stick and we will all do as much as we possibly can to make it a memorable event.
As many are aware the 3rd of February sees the grand opening of the Sapphire, the gleaming jewel of a building surrounding the new home of the Raiders. Our sponsors Everyone Active are doing their professional best to make sure that all of Havering and beyond are aware of the opening to ensure the centre is full and energised for that day and beyond.
The Raiders’ management are delighted that our determination to be part of that celebration becomes official today. The Raiders can at last announce that we are going home in precisely one month from today, to be part of that celebration and to be playing in our new home on the very first day it is open.
So note the date, 3rd February 2018, and when the booking system is in place make sure you reserve your seat because we know that the Sapphire’s many facets including pool, gym, fitness studios and rink will see a very large crowd many of whom will migrate to the 3rd and 4th floor to witness the commencement of the 3rd phase of Raiders history. We aim to make it a memorable evening of entertainment.
We have just 4 home games remaining at Lee Valley and we would like to recognise the hospitality shown by our temporary hosts and voice our gratitude to them for helping to facilitate the Raiders’ survival till this moment. Those thanks are repeated to all the fans and helpers that have sponsored and funded in various ways since the fans management committee had the privilege of taking the reins and guiding the team to its present state.
The Raiders’ fan base has shifted a little west in the last 5 years and we do hope that those local to Lee Valley will continue to support us in the new rink and witness the continued progress of the Raiders, supported at last by their own junior development system.
It will also be great to welcome back the vast number of lapsed Raiders fans that have regularly promised their return as soon as the Raiders are home. Your time is close!
It has been a great week for Raiders announcements so it is a shame to dampen the weekend with news of a departure. Sam Roberts has sadly been granted his release after requesting it earlier this week.
Sam joined the Raiders prior to the start of the 2015/16 season from Haringey Racers and made his Raiders debut at the start of the 2015/16 season in the home game against Streatham Redskins and went on to make a total of 107 appearances for the Raiders in all competitions (ranked 59th in all time appearances), including 78 league appearances. Sam scored 8 goals and 15 assists for 23 points (ranked 142nd overall).
Sam was the only Raiders ever present in all games in season 2016/7, and in his time at the Raiders he missed a total of only six games. And during last season picked up the awards as ”Ironman” and Coach’s Player of the Year.
Sam was a late starter in ice hockey having started in roller and did not make a competitive ice appearance until 22 years of age for Romford Fury. For the Fury he made 38 appearances in NIHL2, scoring 16 goals and 23 assists for 39 points. Following the closure of RVW, Sam moved to Haringey where he ice for the Racers for two seasons making another 38 appearances, scoring 16 goals and 22 assists for 38 points before moving back to the Raiders.
Sam cites personal reasons and time restraints for his departure as he explained.
Sadly my time as a Raider has been cut short and what an amazing time it has been. Without a doubt the best club I’ve played for and been a part of. There are a few reasons for dropping out and moving down a league. My main ones are the restrictions it places on seeing my son and having to leave him both days when I do have him puts strain on our amazing relationship. It’s not fair on him as he is my best buddie and i don’t see him enough as it is. Also having a new baby and family with Rachael not being able to do family stuff with them is also hard and she deserves that too. I’m no spring chicken anymore and it takes its toll playing so regularly at this level. I wanna say a massive thanks to all the Raiders organisation and mostly the fans who make it an amazing team to play for. I wish the boys the best of luck with the rest of the season and i will see you all soon.
Sam always gave his all on the ice and has rightly become very popular with the Gold and Blue. We wish him well with life on and off the ice and look forward to visits from him and his family whenever they can squeeze in some time to come back to see a Raiders game.