Sheffield Steelers set to pay emotional tribute to Vicki Thomas at Manchester Storm game tonight

Sheffield Steelers are to remember Vicki Thomas at tonight’s game with Manchester Storm by asking supporters to pay tribute.

By Darren Burke
Saturday, 14th September 2019, 2:22 pm
Updated Monday, 16th September 2019, 3:47 pm

The mum of two and wife of Steelers' legend Mark Thomas died on Monday after a cancer battle and tonight supporters of both clubs will be able to pay tribute as Steelers open a book of condolence at the FlyDSA Arena ahead of tonight’s clash.

Thomas and the couple’s two sons, Bailey and Harley, will be in attendance along with other members of their family as both clubs pay their respects.

Fans will be asked to make 44 seconds of noise in memory of Vicki, the number’s significance being that which her husband wore during his time at the club

Mark and Vicki Thomas.

The Steelers players will wear special “Pink – Hockey Beats Cancer” warm up shirts with the initials ‘VT’ on the front and ‘THOMAS #44’ on the back.

The shirts will then be raffled off and the proceeds donated to Mark and his family.

The club will also open a book of at the Supporters Club desk on the concourse and fans can add their fond memories of Vicki as well as any messages of love and support for Mark, Bailey, Harley and their family at any point before, during or after the game, which starts at 7pm. Doors to the Arena will open at 6pm.

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Mark has connections with both clubs, currently coaching the Manchester side’s Academy unit.

The tribute comes after details of Vicki’s funeral have also been released.

The service will take place at St Michael and All Angels Bramhall Parish Church,Stockport on September 25 from 12.30pm.

Mourners are invited to ‘with a hint of pink, dress as you think.’

Vicki, 36, lost her battle with breast cancer on Monday night.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Mark said his wife died peacefully at the Christie Hospital in Manchester.

The former Steelers’ defenceman said: “I am sorry to let everyone know that last night at 9pm, Vic passed away peacefully, almost a year after being diagnosed she lost her battle to this horrible disease.

“I’m struggling to put into words how I’m feeling at the moment but I can’t thank everyone for the unbelievable support over the last 10 days or so since she was admitted to hospital.

“The Christie’s nurses and staff have been amazing and we are so lucky to have a hospital so close to us.

“The boys and I will need time to get our heads around this but we will continue to make her proud everyday as she wouldn’t want us to do any different.

“To Vic – thank you for being you, the best wife and a mother a man could ask for, the boys and I love you so much.”

Sheffield Steelers also put out a heartfelt tribute on its website on Vicki’s passing, saying the Steelers’ group during Mark’s time in the club was special, as they were a tightly-knitted band of players and their wives.

The statement said: “The Thomas, Hewitt, Legue, Phillips, Munn, Dagenais, Finnerty, Lehman and Sarich’s of this world.

“Mark and Vicki were at the forefront of all that happened in that time. Vicki was one of the most popular people ever associated with this club.

“The Steelers have Mark and Vicki in their DNA, the Steelers family are truly saddened by this wonderful ladies’ loss.

“As a club and as a fan base, we will be there for Mark and his family. Mark and Vicki have two special young sons, Bailey and Harley. Our sincere and deepest condolences go out to them all.”

Mark currently coaches at Manchester Storm Academy, three years after retiring from a career at Sheffield Steelers and Manchester Phoenix. He also had 41 appearances for Great Britain.