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Brighton Tigers 1958/59 season

Senior ice hockey in decline

The 1958/59 season was not so successful in the League for the Tigers, although they did win the Autumn Cup. At that time British ice hockey at senior level was in decline, many of the older Canadian players who had been around in the glory days of the immediate post WWII years had returned home, and were not being replaced in any number by younger guys.

Too much rough play

Ice hockey was not the exciting fast flowing spectacle the more mature fans enjoyed watching in the early days. Sadly there were too many stoppages and fouls – many for rough play and fighting which of course resulted in the offending  players receiving  penalties and time spent in the sin bin therefore, upsetting the flow of the game.        

Tigers v Paisley Pirates

I recall a home game – April 5th 1959 Tigers v Paisley Pirates. The match degenerated into a shameful spectacle. The Pirates team received 65 minutes of penalties in 60 minutes of play. Tigers won the game that night 6-2.  Subsequently, the Tigers manager received many letters of complaint describing that game as a disgrace and another nail in the coffin of a once great sport. However, it was sweet revenge for the Tigers who in the previous weeks game up at Paisley were trounced 9-2.

Supporters club coach trip

Does anyone remember the supporters club coach trip Easter 1959 to watch that game?  I was 14 years old and together with my school friend and his Father made that epic journey to Scotland; we both thought at that time, it was a trip of a lifetime. Paisley Pirates had won the British League that season, mostly by playing hard forceful hockey. It is a great shame that two or three of their players gave the team such a bad name that year – (no names mentioned). The Tigers finished second from bottom or third from top – sadly there was only four teams left in the British League at that time, Harringay Racers having dropped out at the end of the previous season.

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Brighton Tigers 1957/58 season
From the private collection of Christopher Wrapson

Comments about this page

  • For Christopher Wrapson. About this period and later there are some more names that you can add, (You may have to correct spelling) Harry Pierson, Rupe(rt) Fresher, Jacky Driborough, Red Imrie, Roger Turner, Reg Board(The Plank) Curly ?(in the net). The following info may be somewhat vague. I think Reg moved to London Senators to be hated by the Brighton fans so was always booed off the ice. Harry went painting and decorating, Jacky went to manage Aviemore Ski resort and I believe his son is or was in the Olympics Curling Team. Red for a while opened a night club in Norfolk Terrace (The Tangerine Metronome) to compete with Top Ranks new Disco.(Orange Time Piece. get the pun?). Roger Turner last time I saw him was Kitchen Fitting and planning a move to Greece. When Roger had his 40th birthday party at Henfield Cricket Pavilion most of the Tigers turned up! It was a great reunion. I am surprised that no one has mentioned the Tiger Cubs and no one remembers the night that the Tigers gave the all conquering Czech National Team a really hard time. I still have my supporters club badge!

    By Bob (27/03/2011)
  • Goodness, they are easy to see when it is too late. A couple of typographical errors to correct. 1st, Jackie’s name should be spelt with a ‘y’ (Dryburgh) and Roger’s birthday party was his 50th. Another thing that may be of interest to readers is that another local sporting ‘hero’ became a neighbour of Rogers in Henfield upon retirement. That was a four-legged star called Ballyregen Bob.

    By Bob (27/03/2011)
  • I was at the Pirates game, I seem to remember everyone leaving and the players still fighting it out on the ice.  i think that the Pirates were never invited back…

    By Rodger Olive (09/11/2015)
  • Just a memory, my Step-Father was a friend of Alan Weeks so as a kid I used to get in the Ice Rink for free and saw many ice shows and Tiger’s matches. Great times

    By Dennis Fielder (09/11/2015)
  • I have fond memories of the Brighton Tigers. I took up ice skating at age 8 – Jackie Dryborough (wife of Jacky!) taught me, and for a while I acted as babysitter for their two children (can’t remember their names but believe their boy was called Stuart?). Sadly, Jacky has passed away – not sure about Jackie though. Lovely time of my life but no local ice rinks anymore.

    By Mrs Christine Bowman (04/12/2022)

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