The 2019/20 season will go down in the record books as another successful one for Murrayfield Racers, albeit with a tinge of frustration attached to it.
Tony Hand’s team claimed the Stuart Robertson Cup and NIHL North Cup, but the early curtailment of the campaign due to the coronavirus pandemic denied them the opportunity to chase two more trophies.
However, none of that can detract from the fact that the Racers have continued to flourish, both on and off the ice.
The club has once again been humbled by the support it has received this season, so we’ve asked three of our fans for their thoughts on the Racers.
“I was brought up with hockey through watching my dad play from when I was young age. I was so happy for competitive hockey to be brought back to Murrayfield.
“The Racers first season was impressive and it was hard to believe we were seeing the club bring silverware back to Murrayfield.
“This season though – well where do we start! I managed to get to every single home and away game which was amazing.
“The coach journeys down south and making memories with the team and fans, to the home games where the crowd just seemed to grow and grow.
“The biggest highlight for me was the second leg of the NIHL North Cup Final – I have never felt so many different emotions in a game of ice hockey before.
“From singing and cheering, to being on the edge of my seat and eventually in tears of joy with all the others around me as Callum Boyd put the puck in the net to win the game.
“NIHL North Cup winners – not bad for a wee team nobody would pay to watch. I can’t wait for what next season brings.”
“My love for the racers is really all thanks to my dad! He used to follow the old Murrayfield team when he was a young lad and when he found out they were reforming that was him hooked all over again.
“One weekend his friend couldn’t make the game and I had nothing better to do, so I decided to go along with him. Within that one game I was hooked too.
“I totally fell in love with the sport and the Racers. It really couldn’t have come at a better time as I was going through quite a hard time, but the Racers gave me something to look forward to and enjoy.
“Murrayfield Racers isn’t just a hockey team – we are one big family! I’ve met so many people through being part of this family.
“The best part of being part of supporting the Racers is the away games. I remember the first season we reformed only having about eight fans on the bus to away games.
“To see the support the boys gained for away games this season has just been amazing. Taking two buses to Whitley Bay – what a trip that was and to bring home the cup – WOW!
“No-one else expected us to win it – we certainly didn’t expect to win it, but what a moment it was when we did.
“For the future I hope to see most of the boys return for next season, as we have a lot of unfinished business due to the league sadly being cut short.
“I would also like to see us step up and become part of NIHL North. That’s the hockey we all love paying to see every week and I think our boys have what it takes to compete at a higher level.
“Here’s to next season – I don’t know where we’ll be, but I know it’s going to be great!”
“Having been a Racers fan back in Tony’s playing days, I couldn’t wait to get back into following hockey again when they came back.
“I brought my wife and kids along who were instantly hooked. I thought we would need to go some to top that first season, but we certainly weren’t disappointed.
“The team was strengthened and gelled right from word go, getting stronger every week – we’ve seen some amazing hockey this season.
“We can see on and off the ice the Racers getting better all the time and I can’t wait to see what next season brings.
“I’d like to thank the Racers, more especially Willie Dunn, for having Murrayfield Juniors under 10s on the ice during the breaks throughout the season.
“These kids are growing up Racers fans and to be given the opportunity to play these games makes us feel even more part of the Racers family.”