Rhino leads Steeler charge

STEELERS today unveiled another new 'owner' and this one is Made in Sheffield!

Tony Smith, boss of Eckington-based Rhino Sports manufacturers has acquired a 15 per cent stake in Rink Corp, the company that holds the rights of Steelers and Cardiff Devils. That parent firm is owned by tycoon Paul Ragan, who said he was pleased to have on board a local who could help with merchandising but also pilot the sale of tickets to new fans. Smith paid an undisclosed but "decent" price, said Ragan.

Manor estate born Tony, 56, who lives in Owlthorpe, said it was an exciting opportunity as the pair seek to make match nights as 'entertaining as they used to be.' "The team is doing great but the other (commercial) side is a little bit quiet" he said. Ragan added: "We have three directors in Cardiff and nobody here. Tony was recommended to me. The biggest issue is utilising the initial bed of goodwill that we've had and putting in place a strong sales and marketing team - one doesn't seem to exist at present. We'll give them the tools to get bums back on seats. We have core fans; if you took the seats out and roof off they'd still come and watch hockey but we've lost the family entertainment, the great night out for a sensible cost.

The night isn't as good as it was. Tony's role will be focusing on sales and marketing the whole club, that's his strength and background."

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