Tributes paid to ice hockey supporter
TRIBUTES have been paid to a dedicated ice hockey supporter who helped save the Peterborough Phantoms team from going out of existence.
Ian Macfarlane (78) was one of a group of supporters who took over the then Peterborough Pirates when the team ran out of money in 1993.
Mr Macfarlane then took over the rink and repaired it when the owner went into administration a year later.
He also personally moved more than 1,000 seats into the club’s rink from Notts County’s football stadium in Nottingham.
Mr Macfarlane, who leaves three children behind, died in Leicester General Hospital, just before midnight on Sunday.
David Thorpe, one of the two surviving members of the group of supporters that took over the rink to keep ice hockey in the city, said: “One of Ian’s lasting contributions to Peterborough ice hockey are the 1,000-plus terraced seats around the ice pad.
“A few months after the Pirates directors took over the rink, Ian heard that more than 1,000 seats had been taken out of the Notts County football club’s stand by the firm carrying out refurbishment work.
“Ian took a van to Nottingham, collected the unwanted seats and had them back in Peterborough in less than 24 hours.
“The manager of the then-nottingham Stadium telephoned Peterborough to say he had planned to take the ex-football club seats and could Peterborough spare any?”
“Eddie Porter, who brought senior ice hockey to Peterborough with his wife Peggy in the 1980s and then helped to keep the ice rink open in the 1990s, died just a few weeks ago.
“Another of the group, Ian Dyos died some years ago.
“They were good friends, steadfast workers for ice hockey in the city, and the sport’s fans can remember them with pride and affection for what they did.”
Mr Macfarlane was born in Airdrie in Scotland and spent seven years reporting on newspapers and radio in Canada, before coming to Peterborough with his wife Margaret in 1985 to work on the Peterborough Evening Telegraph.
He moved on to production on the associated national periodicals, Garden News and You and Yours, and then left to join the editorial team on Cambridge Evening news.
Mr Macfarlane leaves three children Gayle, Janis and Ian, five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
His wife Margaret, who was also a keen ice hockey fan, died 14 years ago and a trophy in her name has been presented to a player selected by the family at the end of each season since then.
SUPPORTER: Ian Macfarlane (centre), with past winners of the Maggie Macfarlane Award L-R: James Hutchinson, Brent Gough, Andy Munroe, Nathan Rempel, Jon Cotton and Dwayne Newman.