Manchester Storm

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Manchester Storm
League British Hockey League
Ice Hockey Superleague
Founded 1995
History 1995 - 2002
Arena Manchester Evening News Arena
Capacity 17,245
City Manchester, England
Team Colours White, Purple & Blue

The Manchester Storm were an ice hockey team from Manchester, England. The team formed in 1995, playing their home games at the then newly built Nynex Arena (since renamed the Manchester Arena (after a spell of being called the Manchester Evening News Arena). Storm won the British Hockey League Division One in their first season,[1] watched by an average crowd of 6,342.[citation needed] Success in the end of season promotion/relegation play-offs followed, resulting in Storm being promoted to the Premier Division of the British Hockey League. However, Britain's league structure was changed in 1996, with the formation of the Ice Hockey Superleague, of which the Manchester team were a founder member. This was alongside Ayr Scottish Eagles, Basingstoke Bison, Bracknell Bees, Cardiff Devils, Newcastle Riverkings, Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers. The highs of the inaugural season weren't matched in season 2 though, and Storm finished a disappointing seventh in the league. This led to the sacking of coach John Lawless.[2]

American Kurt Kleinendorst was brought in for the 1997–98 season and he completely changed the face of the playing staff. There were 12 new faces on the 19 strong roster when the season started and they went on to make history for a British club in the European Hockey League. As well as holding Dynamo Moscow to a regulation time draw (losing 2–3 in overtime), they beat Sparta Prague home and away — winning 7–0 at home and 4–3 in the Czech capital.

Storm hold the record for the largest ice hockey attendance at a UK league game, set on February 23, 1997, when 17,245 people watched a match against Sheffield Steelers.[3] At the time, this was also a European record.[4] The record for the largest attendance at any ice hockey game in the UK is 17,551 at The O2 arena (London) on 30 September 2007 for a NHL game between the Los Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks.[5]

Manchester Storm folded in 2002 after owner Gary Cowan shirt sponsorship fell after a gentlemen handshake. This left the club fighting for cash and therefore Gary Cowan felt he could not continue and Manchester Storm fans were locked out of the arena.

A supporters group was formed following the collapse of Manchester Storm, and launched a new team called the Manchester Phoenix.

Past Managers/Head Coaches[edit]


Two Team Players[edit]

Players who have featured for both the Manchester Phoenix and the Manchester Storm in league fixtures;


  1. ^ "1995-96 British Hockey League". The Internet Hockey Database. Retrieved 2007-12-14. 
  2. ^ "John Lawless' British Ice Hockey Hall of Fame entry". Ice Hockey Journalists UK. Retrieved 2007-11-27. [dead link]
  3. ^ Ducker, James (27 October 2002). "End of an era?". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 2007-12-14. 
  4. ^ "It's a fact!!!". Ice Hockey Journalists UK. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-12-14. 
  5. ^ Woloszyn, Paul (2007-09-29). "Kings beat Ducks in London opener". BBC Sports Online. Retrieved 2007-12-14. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Ayr Scottish Eagles
Superleague Champions
Succeeded by
Bracknell Bees
Preceded by
Nottingham Panthers
Autumn Cup Winners
Succeeded by
Sheffield Steelers