The Wightlink Raiders ice hockey season is over, it’s been confirmed.
On its Facebook page, the Raiders have posted a statement which said following the closure of Ryde Arena, the team is sadly no longer able to fulfill its games this season.
The full statement reads:
“It is with extremely heavy hearts that we have to announce the end of Raiders ice hockey for this season.
“We have been forced to make this sad decision as we cannot find enough ice time to continue functioning, and without games we cannot survive financially.
“The players were the first to be informed and we know that they are as devastated as we are with this situation.
“There are so many people to thank for their support.
“Starting with the League, their understanding and help has been great and we thank them for that, especially Richard Carpenter and Paul Hayes.
Many thanks too for the fantastic support from all the teams in our league and the hockey community in general.
“Thanks of course to our incredibly supportive and loyal fans plus all the many helpers who put in endless hours behind the scenes making hockey possible week after week. We know that you are as gutted as we are and after almost 25 years there will now be huge gap in all our lives.
“And finally, possibly the most important people in this sorry scenario .. Jeremy and the team.
“Jeremy Cornish has given us our best ever years, as player/coach and then such an amazing start to this season as coach. He will definitely go down as one of the Raiders all time greats .. thanks mate.
“Under the leadership of Jeremy, and backed up so well by Bill Webb, the team seems to have got better every year and we have been so lucky to have a really great group of players who not only consistently give of their best on ice but have also been a great group of people to be around.
“We are proud to have had each and every one of them as Raiders and after such a solid start feel we’ve been robbed not only of watching their talents develop but also what could have been our best ever season.
“While the short term is hard to bear we would like you all to know that we have not and will not give up and will continue working towards the future to get Ice Hockey / Skating etc back on our island.
“However, for the time being, after over 1000 games and over a dozen major trophies it is with great sadness the Wightlink Raiders are now signing off.
Steve Price and Geoff Underwood.”