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Super Dan a Raiders hero

PUBLISHED: 12:19 21 November 2010

Raiders player-coach Danny Marshall

Raiders player-coach Danny Marshall

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Marshall on verge of greatness

This weekend could be the time when ‘Super’ Danny Marshall finally overhauls Gord Jeffrey as the greatest scorer in Romford Raiders history.

It has been a long journey for the home-grown start, who made his senior debut in 1993, just after Jeffrey returned to Canada with the small matter of 708 goals and 523 assists to his name.

But Marshall now lies just a handful of points away from topping the charts and it would be great to see him reach his milestone against Streatham on Sunday.

Marshall stood out at junior level, thanks to his excellent puck control, and earned the nickname Danny ‘The Hands’ for his mesmerising stick work.

He played as a younger member of the Romford Hornets squad when they reached the British Under-16 final at Wembley Arena and helped the Under-19 Buccaneers to a national runners-up spot a few seasons later.

His first Raiders point was an assist in a Southern Cup match against Essex rivals Chelmsford in September 1993, but he had to wait until the following February to net his first senior goal, in a Monday night friendly against Medway Bears and grabbed his first league goal a few weeks later against Solihull Barons.

Raiders ran into financial problems the following year, but Marshall was a leading figure for Canadian coach Troy Walkington when the team dropped into the English League in 1995.

And he has never been far away from the top of the team’s scoring charts each season as he steadily accumulated points at around two per game.

Marshall has league, cup and play-off winners medals in his trophy cabinet, as well as Raider of the Year honours, and is the holder of a stunning 35 club records (at last count!).

It was great to see Marshall also gain deserved international recognition with caps for Great Britain a few seasons back and this fine Raiders servant - now leading the team in their latest renaissance as player-coach - will surely be worthy of a nomination for Havering Sports Council’s Lifetime Achievement award, having committed himself to serving ice hockey in the town over the past two decades.

There has been no shortage of commitment, albeit over a shorter time scale, from the respective management teams at Hornchurch and Romford Football Clubs.

And both go in search of more glory and valuable prize money in the FA Trophy tomorrow.

Urchins face a long trip down to Devon, to take on a Bideford team from one level below them on the non-league ladder, with an eight-game unbeaten record to protect and a real determined look about them.

Victory would go towards helping chairman Colin McBride keep the vultures at bay, while his opposite number at Romford, Steve Gardener, will also be hoping to swell club coffers as Boro tackle the black hole that is trying to get funding for a new stadium.

Boro will be underdogs at Boreham Wood, who are managed by ex-Arsenal man Ian Allinson (I can still remember his goal at Tottenham in the 1987 League Cup semi-final!), but Paul Martin has instilled a winning mentality in his squad, which has gained in strength, and will be looking for a seventh win in eight outings.

It turns out lthe trumpeting of an ‘unprecedented’ unbeaten week for our leading sports teams might have been justified after all.

Having recorded 12 wins and three draws across the spectrum of football, hockey, ice hockey and rugby, our borough heroes suffered a substantial drop in their combined success rate this week.

Upminster were the only one of our four rugby teams to taste victory, while Romford’s men suffered hockey defeat and the Raiders lost to the Isle of Wight, albeit in a fixture-list filling ‘cup challenge’.

There were still nine wins and one draw, but five losses tainted the picture a bit.


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