The re-formation of the Manchester Storm franchise in 2015 really did cause a ‘Storm’ amongst UK Ice Hockey fans. For many, including myself, it was a euphoric feeling to finally have ‘my team’ back after the heartbreak of losing the original franchise in the early 00’s.

On the flip side of that, there was a minority of fans that branded the ‘re-birth’ of Manchester Storm as a sham, or a ‘fake’ – we decided to take a deeper dive into how the ‘original’ Storm and todays franchise have strongly rooted connections and we ask the question, what really makes a sports organisation, is it the Arena? Is it the fans? Is it the volunteers and staff? Let’s jump into part TWO!


How It All Began: “I’ve been a Storm fan since 95 (I was 12) when my Dad’s friend took me to one of the first games at the Arena. I Was hooked instantly by the fast moving, hard hitting nature of the sport and the show was unlike anything I’d seen before. Think I only ever missed 1 home game after that til ‘OG’ Storm folded in ’02.”


Favourite ‘OG’ Storm Memory:It has to be the B&H Cup Final in ’99. Had to make it through some battles to get there (The QF win in Sheffield was one of my favourites too) but in the Final we were up against the London Knights.   team who’d had our number that season and raced into a 2-0 lead. We staged a great comeback and led 3-2, only for London to equalise in the last minute.  But then we went on to win on penalties which is a big reason everyone remembers Frank Pietreangelo so fondly. Great night!

Favourite ‘Current’ Storm Memories:Had many great memories since Storm’s return, the shock of the team coming back for starters. Finishing 2nd in the league and getting the match night announcer job are biggies, but my favourite has to be 10th December 2022.  Storm beat the Panthers 7-1 (always nice to get a big win against the city I live in) and I proposed to my future bride Alison, at centre ice during ‘Chuck a Puck’. Made a once in a lifetime moment extra special by being able to share it with the whole Storm family.”


How It All Began: “My first Storm game was in the first season (95/96). I went along not knowing a thing about where we were going and what were going to see, but I loved it. We went back a few times during that season, including the night we won the 1st Division title. After that I was hooked, and it was Storm all the way until the final season in 02/03.”

Favourite ‘OG’ Storm Memories: “There’s too many great moments to list every one here. The Arena, the teams, the atmosphere, meeting the players, getting the new shirts, and just generally being obsessed with the club as a young lad. The obvious stand out moments from the original Storm are the 98/99 Superleague win and the 99/00 B&H Cup win. These were both unbelievable times, and I can proudly saw I was there for both of these moments. Travelling to away games with Storm was always something I remember with fondness. Sheffield, Ayr, Newcastle & Nottingham were always great road trips, especially the playoff weekend in Nottingham when an unfancied Storm almost upset everyone, only to lose out to the Steelers on penalty shots. 

Storm also led me into the game myself, and I was fortunate to have been able to play both ice and inline hockey for over 20 years, and create some unbelievable memories. That wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for the Storm coming along in the mid 90s. A lot former teammates, and players of my age in Manchester say that Storm inspired a generation of players, and it’s great to see the same thing starting to happen again with the current Storm franchise.”

“I remember the excitement when it was announced that Storm would be returning, and although I don’t get to the rink anywhere near as regularly as I used to, it’s great to see the fanbase growing and the club become more recognisable again, and also become involved on a professional basis. My biggest take for the current franchise is being able to introduce my kids to the game, the same way I was when I was a kid, and being able to involve them in something that so far they’ve absolutely loved.”


Current Role At The Club:I’m the club’s resident graphic designer. I look after anything creative that’s on social media, around the or inside the rink, and work extremely closely with the clubs marketing department to ensure that we have the right materials to be able to promote the club and get as many people through the doors as possible. I am also responsible for all the jersey designs for the club. I love to see the team take to the ice in my designs,  and although the feedback can be very divisive amongst fans at times, I love to hear what the fans think, and how they’re received.

Favourite ‘OG’ Storm Memory: “Unsurprisingly my favourite memory was being at the B&H Cup Final win v London Knights. Frankie Pietrangelo making saves in the shootout to win the cup (in Sheffield of all places to make it sweeter!).”


Favourite Current Storm Memory: “As for the current franchise, I would suggest last season’s play-off game at home v Sheffield. Coming back from 2-0 down to get a draw was a great turnaround however it wasn’t the result that I recall the most. The noise in the Shelter that night, especially the 3rd period, was immense and showed what we can achieve when the team and fans get together. It’s a sign of things to come!”


Current Role At The Club: I am currently Corporate Sponsorship Manager as well as helping out with whatever else is needed on match nights. I love doing this because it means I can have a direct (albeit small) part to play in making match night as good an experience as possible. We have so many amazing volunteers, it’s great to be part of that team.”