Goal record remains as Raiders hero Jeffrey turns 61
- Credit: Romford Recorder
Former Romford Raiders player-coach and Canadian import Gord Jeffrey celebrates his 61st birthday today (January 11).
And the second week of January also marks the anniversary of a club record goalscoring haul that will surely never be beaten.
Jeffrey arrived in the UK from his native Saskatoon in the summer of 1986 to play for Medway Bears, before being asked to build a new team to play out of the Rom Valley Way rink in Romford.
Raiders began life in Heineken League Division Two in September 1987 with a 9-6 home win over the Oxford City Stars and, led by the attacking skills of Jeffrey and his fellow Canadian Marc Chartier, would soon hit the top of the table.
Full-house crowds were packing the rink in no time, but it was on the road that Jeffrey made his lasting mark on the history books.
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Raiders travelled to Birmingham Eagles on January 9, 1988 and clipped the home side’s wings in no uncertain terms as they skated to victory by an 18-8 scoreline.
Jeffrey scored 11 of those 18 goals – adding an assist for good measure – and it remains the greatest goalscoring performance in a single game by a Raider to this very day.
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Raiders went on to win the league title in their debut season, but were relegated straight back down from Division One a year later – when Jeffrey scored five goals in one match against Trafford Metros, despite playing with a broken wrist.
And they gained promotion from the newly-named English League in the spring of 1990 after a memorable 12-9 play-off win over fierce rivals Bracknell – with Jeffrey named Raider of the Year by supporters for a second successive campaign – before only a big-spending Humberside Seahawks side denied Jeffrey’s men a spot in the Premier Division in April 1991.
The inspirational Jeffrey kept Raiders competitive over the next two campaigns, inspiring them to home and away wins over the mighty Durham Wasps in play-off and cup matches, before returning to Canada in the summer of 1993 having scored no fewer than 132 hat-tricks, as well as enjoying 21 five-goal games and scoring six goals or more on 10 separate occasions.
His overall total of 1,231 points – made up of 708 goals and 523 assists – in 303 games remained the highest overall tally in Raiders history for over 16 years until it was finally surpassed by former Romford junior Danny Marshall in November 2009.
Marshall went on to finish with 1,586 points in 926 games, after scoring 614 goals – still almost a hundred short of Jeffrey's club best – and 972 assists.
Gord Jeffrey – Raiders Records
Most Career Goals 708
Most Career Hat Tricks 132
Most Career 5 point or more games 115
Most Points in a Season 280 (1992/93)
Most Goals in a Season 165 (1992/93)
Most Hat tricks in a Season 35 (1992/93)
Most 5 point games in a Season 28 (1992/93)
Most Goals in a Game 11 v Birmingham Eagles (9/1/88)
Most Career Hat Tricks in League games 80
Most Career 5 point League Games 72
Most Goals in a League Season 109 (1987/88)
Most Hat Tricks in a League Season 21 (1987/88)
Most 5 points in a League Season 24 (1987/88, in 25 league games)
Most Points in a League Game 12 v Birmingham Eagles (9/1/88) *shared with Marc Chartier/Juraj Huska
Most Goals in a League Game 11 v Birmingham Eagles (9/1/88)
Most Career Goals in Play Off games 50
Most Career Hat Tricks in Cup games 19
Most Career 5 point Cup Games 14
Most Goals in a Cup Game 8 v Lee Valley Lions (6/9/89)
Play Off Records
Most Career Goals in Play Off games 93
Most Career Hat Tricks in Play Off games 7
Most Career 5 point Play Off Games 5