This is how you can celebrate Fife Flyers’ 80th anniversary

Fife Flyers 1940s
Fife Flyers 1940s

If the walls of the dressing-room could talk, what stories they’d tell.

Home to generations of hockey players across the decades, and every one of them has left a skate track for the next team to trace.

Danny Brown, Fife Flyers 1985 - part of the legendary 'Plumb Line' of Ron Plumb, Dave Stoyanovich & Danny) which led the team to the 1985 British championship title at Wembley

Danny Brown, Fife Flyers 1985 - part of the legendary 'Plumb Line' of Ron Plumb, Dave Stoyanovich & Danny) which led the team to the 1985 British championship title at Wembley

The rink is soaked in history.

The banners which hang from the rafters celebrate the storied teams – Grand Slam champions, title winners and play-off kings – as well as honouring the few whose jersey numbers have been retired. The highest individual accolade any sportsman can be gifted.

Pick any point in the rink and you can trace the lineage from Les Lovell’s pioneers of 1938 to Todd Dutiaume’s Gardiner Conference champions of 2018.

Close your eyes and you can hear the swish of the skates and the sound of pucks slamming into the boards.

Fife Flyers 1938/39 - the first ever team to play out of the newly opened Kirkcaldy ice Rink.. From left: Stover, J. Fullerton, Les Lovell, Norman McQuade, Bill Fullerton, McCartney, Tommy Durling, McInroy, Chappell and Kerr

Fife Flyers 1938/39 - the first ever team to play out of the newly opened Kirkcaldy ice Rink.. From left: Stover, J. Fullerton, Les Lovell, Norman McQuade, Bill Fullerton, McCartney, Tommy Durling, McInroy, Chappell and Kerr

Eighty years of competition –from the days of wooden sticks and goalies without facemasks, to today’s ultra-modern pro set-up.

The dressing-room is where teams have bonded, fallen out, celebrated successes and closed ranks in dark times.

And, above them, sit the seats which have been filled with generations of fans, all enjoying the same uninterrupted views of the ice pad thanks to the ingenuity of the original architects who delivered the widest construction of its kind in 1938 – 145 feet pillar to pillar.

And they didn’t just build a rink.

They created an amphitheatre where the fans sit suffocatingly close to the action; from the rumble of feet on the wooden boards to the magnificent sight of a full house raising merry hell, it has an atmosphere that can electrify and intimidate at the same time.

Moments like those create memories that last a lifetime.

That first ever game ‘38 which drew 4200 people to the rink,causing a two-mile tailback in the Gallatown.

The days when you had to buy a ticket on a Friday just to ensure you got in to see Ron Plumb, Dave Stoyanovich and Danny Brown.

Sticks, helmets and gloves discarded around the pad as Fife Flyers celebrated clinching the British championship on home ice under Mark Morrison.

The moving sight of a stricken Cal Brown taking his final bow in one of the most emotional rounds of applause ever heard.

Raising the banners to the roof at the start of the 60th anniversary.

The team of ‘77 bringing the British championship home to Kirkcaldy.

The debuts of stalwarts and legends – from Bert Smith to Gordon Latto.

The family dynasties which sit at the heart of the club, rink and team – the Lovells, Haigs, Lattos, Kings, Cottrells, Hornes, Taylors, and Muirs .

The first games in the NPL and the EIHL – landmark moments which defined a team’s next era.

Snapshots from a club, and sport, which sit at the heart of the community in Kirkcaldy – and draw people from across the Kingdom every day of the week to skate, to curl and to master the game with pucks and sticks.

Many also regularly make much longer journeys to ensure match night sits at the heart of their weekend. Everything is planned around it.

Their journeys may pale in comparison with the boat trips the imports of the 1950s had to undertake to get here – more than one pitched up at the rink doors with little idea about the town or the adventures that lay ahead – but the bonds that tie the team and fans remain as strong as ever 80 years on.

For many, ice hockey is part of their family’s DNA.

You’ll find huge numbers of second and third generation supporters sitting in what the Americans would call the bleachers; folk who know their hockey inside out, passing on that insight to newcomers who are quickly just as hooked.

Many have occupied the same seats with every passing season.

They’ve seen imports come and go – from Bud Scrutton to Evan Bloodoff, Floyd Snider to Russ Moyer – coaches change, new strips unveiled, opponents fold and return, but the lure of the good old hockey game remains everything.

As Fife Flyers embark on a landmark 80th anniversary, we want to capture YOUR stories and memories of life as a fan, a player, a coach and a volunteer.

Share your pictures and scrapbooks with us, and help us tell the story of a remarkable club that means so much to so many. Let’s bring Flyers’ rich, vibrant history alive in season 2018-19.

Let those walls talk ...

>> We want to hear from fans who watched the team in the 1930s and 40s, as well as the 50s and 60s and into the Heineken Era.

We also want to hear from players who have pulled on the gold, white and blue jerseys, and those who have coached or been part of the team across the decades. Email matthew.elder@jpress.co.uk or allan.crow@jpress.co.uk