Mark Thomas clocks up his 600th game for Sheffield Steelers on Saturday- and his captain says he will be as committed to the cause as the day he arrived at the club.
Only Ron Shudra (626) has played in more games for Steelers than Thomas, who has a testimonial game at iceSheffield on February 17. But the main focus for the 10-year Steeler and his team-mates is the arrival of Nottingham Panthers, the team two points and one place ahead of them.
Skipper Jonathan Phillips said: “Tomo has been an incredible servant. He can play in all situations, one of the reasons our penalty kill has been so good this year is down to the way he plays. Despite injuries he continues to be our most physical D man. He is always so positive. On the bench, in the room, he is one who keeps spirits high and also keeps us on the even keel. It’s no coincidence that the Steelers have won so much with him in the line-up” said the winger. There aren’t many players as decorated as he is. He has been a major part in the winning teams coached by Dave Matson, Ben Simon and Gerad Adams last year. He is a coach’s dream, he will do anything to help the team win. He doesn’t score many but it always seems that when he does get one its a big goal, lots of game winners and even a championship decider. 600 games in an incredible achievement.
“You hear as a player so much about players of the past, the Plommers, the Cranstons etc. They served the club well. I just hope that in time people appreciate what Mark has done for the Steelers, I can’t believe anyone has ever committed more. There isn’t a chance he will want to go out of this testimonial season without some good experiences against Nottingham, he has a couple of game winners against them in his career and wouldn’t it be nice if he did the same on Saturday.”