Telford Tigers Ice Hockey Club
The Telford Tigers are an ice hockey club with two teams playing in the National Ice Hockey Leagues (NIHL) 1 & 2 respectively.
Telford Tigers are based at Telford Ice Rink, in Shropshire, the club enjoys a loyal fan base, drawn from across Shropshire, Mid Wales, the West Midlands and beyond.
Over the last 30 years, the Telford Tigers have developed a reputation for hard-fought, but fair, matches against some of the biggest names in British ice hockey.
“Telford Tigers” were formed 1985, after the opening of the rink a year earlier. The Telford Tigers regularly attracted crowds of up to 2,500 supporters during those initial years, as a number of players from close rivals Solihull Barons formed the nucleus of the new team.
During the 1987/88 season, the club secured its first league title, winning the First Division championship in a play-off against Cleveland Bombers. Promotion to the Premier League, however, was to prove elusive, as the Telford Tigers narrowly lost out in a heartbreaking promotion/relegation play-off against Peterborough Pirates.
Further titles followed for the side, as they won the Autumn Trophy in 1994, while finishing second in the league. 1997 was another trophy-winning year, as the Tigers secured the Upper Deck Christmas Cup, while again narrowly missing out on the league title.
Following a period in the English National League and EPIHL as the Telford Wildfoxes, the Tigers returned in 2006 and reclaimed their position as fans’ favourites.
2009 saw the club reformed as a wholly fans-owned organisation – the first such venture in ice hockey. The team put together by Head Coach Tom Watkins quickly developed a reputation for springing surprise results in the semi-professional EPIHL.
In 2014/2015, Telford Tigers won the English Premier League title by some distance, before collecting the British Challenge Cup in a thrilling final against Manchester Phoenix. The next season 2015 / 2016, a largely unchanged side finish fourth in the EPL.
The 2016 /2017 saw some considerable additions to the previous years roster and Tigers once again won the English Premier League, however the Playoff trophy proved elusive again, with Telford loosing in another thrilling final with Milton Keynes at the Coventry Skydome. The season was also not without its difficulties, there were two changes of ownership, one at the start of the season from Red Hockey to Telford Ice Sports Ltd and following financial difficulties mid season, a local consortium took over the running of the club to see Tigers through to the season end.
2017 / 2018 sees the start of a brand new chapter and another change of ownership for the famous Telford Tigers brand following the disbanding of the English Premier League. The Telford Tigers brand is now being used by the previous Tigers NIHL team who have entered two teams into the NIHL North Divisions for the 2017/18 seasons.
Tigers NIHL were a new young team established just a few short seasons ago to run along the then Tigers EPL team. They previously competed in the NIHL and Tigers NIHL gained promotion in their first year to the NIHL Moralee Conference.
Following the disbanding of the EPL and the changes in the NIHL. Telford Tigers ran two teams in the NIHL Moralee and Laidler conferences. This year Tigers 1 will compete in the newly formed NIHL National League.