TURBO Tim Cranston is heading back to Sheffield with a typically no-nonsense message for the coming season’s Steeler players: “Show the passion that we had!”
The Canadian-Brit dual national was an electrifying influence on Sheffield’s side between 1993-5. In his first season, he top-scored with an astonishing 132 points in 58 games, leading a successful side which included the likes of Ron Shudra, Tommy Plommer, Les Millie and Chris Kelland - all of whom will meet up with him again in the Festival of Hockey on Saturday August 27, the 20th celebration birthday party of the Steelers.
At around 5ft 9ins, Cranston was never afraid to go in the nasty areas of the sport to grind out a win –and happy to fight with the 6ft 5ins giants like Mike Ware...perhaps one of the defining moments of the club in some veteran fans’ eyes.
He was one of the many character which saw Steelers dominate the British game winning championships and cup competitions, including the 1996 Grand Slam.
Cranston, speaking from home in Nova Scotia said: “I had an incredible five years there and loved every minute. I had a special bond with the fans.
“They took to me, they liked how I played and they could see how much I and the other guys on that team cared for them and the Steelers’ jersey. We all bled for that Steelers’ jersey, we did what ever it took to win and to deliver trophies.
“I think what the modern day Steelers are trying to do here in August by getting all us old-timers back together is amazing and I thank them.
“The club has had some highs and lows since we all left.
“Anything we can do as former players to raise the profile, get people back interested in the Steelers we will do.
“The players of that era really cared and we haven’t lost that.
“We love the Steelers and want today’s players to deliver the same entertainment, passion and success we did.
“We will play our legends game on the 27th and, sure, we won’t be as fast as we once were but even now when we put that jersey on the same pride will come out and we will give our all. Then there will be some pressure on the new Steelers players when we take to the stands to watch them play later that night. They will have a bit to live up to I’m sure. I had a love affair with the fans and I want to revive that on the 27th.”
n The recent crash of Rink Corp, the company that ran Steelers and Cardiff Devils, appears to have left some of its most vital past and present personnel out of pocket.
The owner, Paul Ragan, is listed owing £347,000 and former owner Maraini Phillips £34,210. Also owed cash are Steelers’ new player coach Ryan Finnerty (almost £5,000) star player Ashley Tait (£2,215) and Devils’ coach Gerad Adams (£8,547).
Steelers’ longest serving backroom worker Andy Akers is owed £2,435. And official Dave Simms, who appears to have been a creditor of two other crashes, is owed £2,500.
Rhino Sports, run by Sheffield’s new majority shareholder Tony Smith, is owed £5,354,