After making the signing of Richard official, he took some time to speak to the Wild website about his past, and the excitement of the brand new challenge waiting for him in the upcoming town of Widnes.
If you simply check out Richard on websites like HockeyDB or EliteProspects your initial reaction will undoubtedly be that he hasn’t played competitively for some time without grasping his knowledge and experience of the game, or how versitile he can be across the ice. The best way to get a grip of Charles’ career is to simply, let him tell you;
“I began playing hockey at the age of 11 in Dundee as part of the Dundee Rockets junior development. During this period I captained the U’16 team to the U’16 Scottish league title and the Junior British Championships at Wembley. I also gained international honours on a number of occasions for Scotland and Great Britain at U’16 level.”
“I continued to play in Dundee for the TaysideTigers from 1989/90 to 1995/96. Again during this period I gained a number of international honours with the Great Britain U’19 squad and participated in the 1991 European Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, where we won the bronze medal. I spent the 1996/97 with the Blackburn Hawks, before returning to Scotland for the 1997/98 with the Fife Flyers.”
From hearing about the versatile Scots’ impressive young playing career, I wondered ‘so what happened’, I asked about it and I’d say we got the answer which shows just how sensible the man is within life;
“Throughout the last 5 years I played I was studying a degree in Mechanical Engineering at University in Dundee. The year I played at Blackburn I was on an industrial placement in Warrington. After my season with the Flyers and my final year at University, I started my first job and couldn’t commit to all the travelling associated to playing in the BNL. I guess I just wanted focus on my working career and decided to call it a day! Have always missed the game and all that goes with it immensely, hence grabbing this opportunity to give it another go and hopefully get my wife and kids interested. They’ve never seen me play!”
At the Wild we’ve already witnessed that he still bares all the signs of being a strong calibre player and will easily be the kind of guy to lend his experience to the younger players on the squad. Being an ever present figure at the pre-trials and the ongoing player trials, Richard is another player who is enjoying the brand-new Silver Blades rink and the talent passing through;
“It’s great to be part of something new for Widnes; new rink, new sport and to be part of a new team. Hopefully the formation of this new organisation will encourage a lot of youngsters to get involved in the sport and also get the people of Widnes behind the Wild.”
“It’s a fantastic ice pad, with excellent facilities and training has seen a number of very talented young players wanting to get involved. We are all getting to know each other now and it all bodes well for the pre-seaon and for new competitive season ahead. We all know we have a massive challenge ahead, but with hard work and a good team ethic we can most definitely compete within this league and pose a real threat.”
“I’d also like to personally thank Mick Caunce, our GM and Mark Gillingham, our head coach for providing me with this opportunity to make a return to the sport after a number of years out. The sport has been very good to me over the years and I’m sure it will be great thing for the town of Widnes going forward.”
I for one can’t wait to see this guy in competitive action, we hope his family Go Wild, and we’ll catch up with him closer to the season opener!