Dundee Rockets reunite to celebrate 40 years since ice hockey Grand slam

The Dundee Rockets reunite to celebrate 40th anniversary of their third grand slam title and reflect on their legacy.

They were fast, furious and fearless – and turned Dundee into Scotland’s ‘hockey town’ by dominating ice hockey in the UK in the 1980s.

The Dundee Rockets are now reuniting to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their third Grand Slam title and reflect on their legacy.

The team was founded by local scaffolding boss Tom Stewart, who recruited players from Canada and America to bolster the homegrown squad.

Chris Brinster was one of them, moving from New York to Dundee to play in defence for the Rockets from 1981-87.

“There was such a chemistry that developed with the local guys, it was never an ‘us and them,’ it was a family,” he explained.

“Every time we went into a game it wasn’t ‘will we win?’ It was ‘we’re going to win.’ We developed a winning attitude from day one and it snowballed.”

Canadian Roy Halpin scored more than 400 goals and 350 assists from 1981-85.

“I loved every moment here, the victories, the fans, it was a privilege,” he said.

Former players reminisce over Grand Slam

“Tom Stewart built a team based on trust and friendships between the players.

“One trophy at a time, we never thought more than that, but we went out to win every time we stepped on the ice.”

The Rockets won three grand slams from 1981-1984 and were the first British team to compete in the European Cup.

Their legion of fans followed them from the old Kingsway Rink to venues across the UK and ultimately to the national finals at Wembley.

Dundonian Jock McGuff lined up in defence alongside Chris Brinster.

“It was an incredible time,” he said.

“Tom Stewart was selective and brought in the right people to enhance what was already here. They helped us become better players.”

The players are back in the spotlight in Dundee on Wednesday, June 26 when they host an evening with the Dundee Rockets at the city’s Whitehall Theatre.

“I talk to the guys from the team quite regularly and I tell them all, what you guys did has never been duplicated, in ice hockey and possibly any other sport,” said Chris Brinster.

“Be very proud of what you’ve done and carry it forward and pass it on to the kids and the people that are coming up.”

Roy Halpin added: “Building a winning tradition launched Dundee as a hockey town.

“Today I hear and see the successes that the Dundee Stars are having so hockey is here to stay.”

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