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Ice hockey shocked by Tottman death

PUBLISHED: 16:04 03 August 2011

The late Dave Tottman

The late Dave Tottman

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Raiders lead tributes to popular official

Romford Raiders players and officials have been shocked to learn of the sad passing of local referee Dave Tottman.

An immensely popular official, Tottman, father of two-time Olympic referee Joy, passed away suddenly yesterday morning.

He had been in a full leg plaster for four weeks due to a ruptured quad muscle and was due to start physio, but woke up feeling unwell and went into cardiac arrest while waiting for an ambulance.

His girlfriend and paramedics tried to keep him alive, but were unsuccessful and the tragic news has led to host of moving tributes from all corners of British ice hockey.

Raiders manager Mick Cahill led the way with his own poignant memorial, saying: “It seems I’ve known Totts forever and I can’t quite believe he’s gone.

“We used to speak regularly around the rinks and more often on the phone – two old gits putting the hockey world to rights. He was simply a great, great bloke.

“Questionable haircuts, dodgy earrings, certainly. Others have reminded me about the chains he wore and the bloody phones he had. All true.

“Above all, though, he displayed a love for the sport that knew no bounds. More than that, he was my friend. My heart goes out to the Tottman family and especially to Joy. Rest well mate, I miss you already.”

Raiders owner Ollie Oliver added: “In all the time I knew Dave, I never had a bad word to say about him. He was as fair as they come and it’s such sad news.”

Previous general manager John Scott said: “Sad news. Always enjoyed a good chat with Dave wherever we met up. Open, honest and humourous. Hockey will be a poorer place for his passing. Condolences to his family.”

And the players who shared the ice with Tottman during his long career were quick to add their own tributes.

Former Raiders fans favourite Mark Williams said: “Dave will be missed. He was one of the best hockey men in the game, a true gent. I met a lot of people through hockey and Dave was one of the best.”

Several of the current Raiders were also quick to offer their condolences. Jason Buckman said: “RIP Dave Tottman. The nicest hockey guy I shared the ice with. Legend.”

AJ Smith added: “RIP Dave Tottman. A good referee and a great guy!”

And Michael Gray said via Twitter: “Rip Dave Tottman. 1 of the nicest guys ever.”

Dean Smith was one of many officials to add his own memories of Tottman online, saying: “Very, very sad news. Dave was a legend and always had time to give me advice on and off the ice. He helped me during my early days to have confidence and how to enjoy reffing and how to always respect the players and game.”

Many more followed, revealing a depth of sadness felt across Romford and the wider ice hockey community.

And one expects there will be no shortage of mourners wanting to pay their respects at Tottman’s funeral, details of which will be revealed as soon as possible.


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