Edinburgh Capitals will hold a one minute silence on Sunday (vs Dundee Stars, 6pm face off) for Bob Wilkinson, a man who devoted more than 35 years to the sport of ice hockey in the UK.
It was with great sadness that the hockey community heard of his passing away at the age of 74 this week. He was a man devoted the sport of ice hockey in the UK, particularly Junior ice hockey. Indeed, he is widely credited with being the man who first established the "conference" tournament, the key annual Junior tournament in the UK.
His love of the sport began in 1982 in Durham, following his retirement from a 23 year career in the army. He took charge of the junior system in Durham, then graduated to the U-19 team before becoming the England U16's manager in 1984. Two years later he formed the first Great Britain Under-16 team and in 1987 helped form the first Conference tournament.
Bob was appointed as a director of the EIHA in 2001 and continued running their Junior section, overseeing massive growth within Junior ice hockey and the expansion of age groups across the EIHA structure.In 2002 he was appointed to the IHUK board and had the responsibility of overseeing Great Britain U20s, GB U18s and Great Britain Women. During his time in charge of these programmes, he was part of four gold-medal success, four silver and four bronze.
He also served as chairman of Ice Hockey UK between 2005 and 2008 and was made an honorary member of IHUK in March of last year – the first person to receive such an accolade.
Our thoughts go out to Bob's family at this time, we will honour him on Sunday with a one minute silence prior to face off.