Former Raiders captain, head coach Douglas is MBE for services to finance
PUBLISHED: 09:00 16 October 2020
Former Raiders player, head coach and junior development coach Erskine Douglas said he was shocked to be made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours at the weekend.
Douglas played for, captained and coached many teams around the south of England and was also coach with England and Great Britain age group teams.
He also played a major part in the EIHA Education Programme helping to develop the next generation of coaches.
Most recently he coached in a Legends game at the new Sapphire Ice & Leisure rink in Romford, having been player, captain and coach of the Raiders and scorer of the team’s first league goal at the old Rom Valley Way rink way back in 1987.
The citation for the award reads: “Erskine Decourtenay Douglas, accredited counter fraud specialist and head of accounts payable, Department of Health and Social Care, services to finance.”
Doulgas said: “I was really surprised when I got the letter through. I found out at the beginning of May, I got a letter from the Cabinet Office and an email.
“I opened it, I thought ‘what’s this all about?’ I started reading it and was absolutely shocked.”
Douglas has been the head of accounts payable at the Department of Health since 2004 but he feels the award was not just for him but his whole department for their efforts, especially the work they do with underprivileged children.
“It’s not just me, it’s for the team of people that I’ve led for quite a while. We’ve looked at changing the way the department moves money around the system, and protecting the public purse from fraud,” he added.
“We also run a programme for underprivileged children, bringing them in for work experience, and really introducing them to people with influence.
“Often underprivileged children don’t get the opportunity to meet those sort of people, people inside the government, and also inside the banking system – particularly RBS who have been great at giving me access to their high performance programmes for their big customers that are potentially going on to university.
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“RBS have also been really helpful in opening doors for the underprivileged children that the department has been working with.”
Douglas also played for Streatham and Lee Valley in the 1970s and 1980s, before helping Raiders to immediate success and starting his coaching career.
He was assistant coach of the GB Under-18s in the 1999-2000 season and was head coach of GB Under-20s in 2000-2001.
Douglas added: “I was heavily involved with the Raiders, especially the youth development programme right from 1993-94, and I’m still involved to a certain extent with some of my players, even though I’m not coaching.
“I’m in touch with some of the parents and continue to be in touch with some of the players, and a lot of them have congratulated me on my award – Richard Tomalin, Danny Fox and all sorts of people that I hadn’t spoken to forever.
“They were an integral part of my success in ice hockey because it was often their hard work that was reflecting on what I was doing.
“Some of them, we’ve stayed in touch, particularly my club secretaries. People say I ran the junior club, but actually I never did, it was the club secretaries. I just made sure things worked for the children.”
Douglas, whose son Chris went on to play in goal for the Raiders as well, says he is proud to have been so involved with the ice hockey club in Romford.
“Even though I’ve never lived in Romford, I’ve always been extremely proud that I was able to coach Romford at every single level, and the biggest moment for me was winning the play-offs (in 2000-01) with effectively – except for the imports – Romford-born and trained children.
“That for me was the biggest thing. People that started out with me, Richard Tomalin in particular, Danny Marshall, Russell Bishop, James Grimstead all those people.
“When Romford first started up those guys and their parents turned up, got the club off to a sound footing.
“I look at those things and with that particular group as the best hockey times in my life because there wasn’t anything that those parents wouldn’t do to help.”
He added: “If you sat that group of people down, I think they would definitely say hockey wise, that they’ve never had a time like it since.”
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