Hockey for me started when I was very young, with my parents watching The Nottingham Panthers before I was born and then they took me along when I was a baby. After watching the Panthers and obviously wanting to give it a go, I started to skate at age four.
After going through my grades, I starting playing hockey at the age of five.
Along for the ride at the very start of my hockey career were former Panthers players Robert Farmer and James Neil. We became line-mates and were given the nickname of the ‘Buzzy Bees’ while being selected for the under-11s Midland Conference team at around seven years old. We were very small compared to the others.
Throughout my junior career I also had the chance to play against many opponents that are still that to this very day, as well as playing against current and former team-mates such as last year’s testimonial man Steve Lee and current Panther Brett Perlini, whom we faced many times in national finals before he journeyed back to North America.
During the early days in my hockey career I also had my first opportunity to represent my country, icing for the under-13 national team in the Quebec PeeWee Tournament. I was fortunate enough to be able to represent the national team for my age group every year up until my top year under-20s in which we won our first gold medal.
My Panthers career began as a 15-16 year old practicing with the team during school holidays. My first game for the Panthers coming during the 2007-08 season under coach Mike Ellis, gaining my first Panthers goal that season, against former Panther goalie Dan Green.
Season 2009-10 I took a year away from Nottingham on a two-way deal with Manchester Phoenix to earn some valuable playing time and also allowed me to play midweek games for Panthers in which we won the Challenge Cup.
Season 2010/11, I returned back to Panthers full time and also was now too old to represent GB U20s. To my surprise I was called up to try out for the senior national team and ended up in Ukraine with my first experience of World Championship hockey.
We were six minutes from winning promotion to the top division in the world, a feeling that would stay with me – and hard to replicate – until our recent national team success with back-to-back gold medals and managing to remain in the world’s top pool.
Ten years on and with many great memories, 13 trophies, including back-to-back double cup and playoff victories and, of course, the Grand Slam during season 2012-13, over 700 Elite League games across all competitions and making history with the club in Europe in the Continental Cup and in the CHL brings us to the present year.
The club has provided me with many years of fun and support and I look forward to many more.