Friends Reunited: One-time Steelers wonderkid Liam Kirk will be back on Sheffield Arena ice on Sunday

Liam Kirk - the first English-born and trained ice hockey player to be drafted into the NHL – makes a nostalgic return to Sheffield Arena on Sunday.

By Bob Westerdale
Friday, 26 April, 2019, 12:20
Kirk played for Sheffield Steelers for the past three seasons and helped Great Britain secure promotion back to ice hockey's elite level

Maltby’s former Steelers’ winger, now 19, made history 10 months ago when he was drafted by Arizona Coyotes.

Farmed out to Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League, he is now back on home turf to help Great Britain in their preparations for this Summer's World Championships against the likes of Canada and the USA.

He plays against Russian team Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod on Saturday (Nottingham Arena) before returning to his former club rink in Attercliffe on Sunday to face the same side.

Kirk said he has fabulous memories of Sheffield Arena, where he turned from a shy prospect to an NHL investment.

"My first memory of getting in the Steelers’ team is about the Arena "black-out," stepping on the ice and hearing my name called out - it was something I could only dream about once,” he told The Star.

"And my last game there was a blur, there were some awards at the end and then it was over. It had been great for me there.

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"It will be exciting to be back, it feels like it's been a while.

"The place is like a home to me. And it will be nice to play in front of GB and Steelers fans."

Kirk will get a warm reception and he says: "That will be nice but I just hope the fans cheer the whole GB team to victory. Torpedo will be a fast-skating KHL team and it should be fun."

GB camp are hoping for a big turn out of Steelers’ fans, who will also be cheering on Sheffield team-mates Jackson Whistle, Robert Dowd, Ben O'Connor, Davey Phillips and Jonathan Phillips.

Liam Kirk