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Ice hockey in Romford: Rob Stewart

PUBLISHED: 11:00 10 February 2018

Rob Stewart (right) was an all-star defenceman for Romford Raiders in the 1990s

Rob Stewart (right) was an all-star defenceman for Romford Raiders in the 1990s

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Former heroes welcome sport’s return to town

Rob Stewart returned to end his playing career for Romford Raiders (pic John Scott)Rob Stewart returned to end his playing career for Romford Raiders (pic John Scott)

Canadian Rob Stewart was Raider of the Year for three successive seasons in the early 1990s.

An all-star defenceman during his four-year spell at Rom Valley Way, he went on to win Super League and Elite League titles with Bracknell and Belfast, before returning to Essex in 2006 to end his UK playing career in gold and blue.

He made a total of 296 appearances for the club, scoring 256 goals and 378 assists.

Current assistant coach of Belfast Giants, 52-year-old Stewart welcomed the return of ice hockey to Romford.

He said: “It’s great to see ice hockey back in Romford and hopefully a lot of exciting times ahead!

“My first season in Romford was 1990 and some of my best hockey memories were from that season and the three seasons to follow. I met a lot of good people and made a lot of life long friends, both players and fans that I still keep in touch with today.

“I’ve had a successful career in the UK, and owe a lot of that to Gord ‘Herbie’ Jeffrey, owner, coach and player of the Raiders.

“‘Herbie’ picked me up as an injury replacement for another import, Brent Bywater, a couple weeks into the the 1990/91 season. Herbie decided to stick with me and I guess the rest is history.

“I ended up playing four years with the Raiders and a further 13 years in the UK on a few different teams, Telford, Bracknell and Belfast, picking up a couple of Super League titles and Elite League titles along the way.

“My last full season of pro hockey was with Romford Raiders and thinking about it now it was a perfect way to end my playing career.

“The people of Romford and the surrounding areas will always be special to me, they have a passion for hockey and I’m sure they are extremely happy to have a brand new ice rink and the Raiders in town!

“Hopefully this new rink brings the old fans back and attracts some new fans to the best sport in the world!

“All the best to the Raiders organisation for thinking about me and hopefully one day I’ll get to play a game in the new building!”

Stewy


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