Photo has brought back memories of the game

Former Blackpool Seagulls ice hockey player Eric Holland.
Former Blackpool Seagulls ice hockey player Eric Holland.
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A picture featured in our Lost Archives has seen scores of people getting in touch to tell us who was in the photograph.

The image showed Blackpool’s now defunct Seagulls ice hockey team, who were, at the height of their game, regarded as the best amateur outfit in the land.

The photo was taken in March 1959, when legendary Canadian player-coach Bud Regnier paid a visit to the team at the Ice Drome at the resort’s Pleasure Beach.

Joan Holland, of Priory Gate in South Shore, recognised her husband, Eric, in our photograph.

Eric enjoyed skating on Stanley Park lake as a youngster, and joined the Seagulls when he was 16 years old.

He was forced to leave the team to carry out his National Service in the Air Force, but retuned at 18 and played for nearly 40 years.

She said: “He played in world tournaments before he moved away and had to give it up.

“That was before they brought in all the protective equipment they wear now; my husband never wore a helmet.”

And despite his love of the game, Joan said Eric, now 79, never wanted to watch ice hockey.

Jane Burdekin recognised her father, the late Dennis Burdekin, on the picture.

She said: “He was 26 when that photo was taken.

“He loved his hockey and later on he took part in an old guy’s reunion, where the old guys played the new team.”

Dennis’ wife, Margaret, added: “I used to go to all the matches at the Pleasure Beach, and Mr and Mrs Thomson used to put a meal on after the match for the two teams.”

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