The YKK sponsored Widnes Wild held a special ceremony to “retire” the playing shirt of former Wild Player/Coach Ollie Barron before their home game against the Altrincham Aces at Planet Ice Widnes on Sunday 1st September.
Retiring a shirt is a very special occasion in the ice hockey world and it is intended to honour great achievements by a player / official connected to a particular club. It means that the shirt number that was synonymous with that player is no longer used by the team.
In Ollie Barron’s three-year tenure as Player/Coach, the Wild club enjoyed the most successful period in their history, winning three Laidler Play Off trophies and, last year, also winning the Laidler Division League Title for the first time.
This would be a very creditable achievement for any coach but the fact that Barron had no coaching experience before taking over the reins at Widnes in Summer 2016, makes the achievement all the more impressive.
Following the ceremony on the ice, a commemorative banner depicting Barron’s No. 7 shirt was unveiled up on the gantry above the rink – next to netminder Greg Ruxton’s No. 64 shirt, which was retired in October 2017.