The magic Hand that so touched Tom

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Youngster Tom Squires will get the chance to marvel at his all-time hero’s skills again on August 27.

The Sheffield Steelers greenhorn grew up trying to emulate Tony Hand’s astonishing ability to create goals and dominate the ice.

Hand will be back at Sheffield Arena for the 20th anniversary celebrations - and that makes the event even more special for Squires, about to embark on his first full season with the Elite League club.

“When I started watching the Steelers it was Tony Hand and Ken Priestlay doing the business” he said, “As a kid I tried to mirror my game on him, but there is only one Tony Hand.

“He just seem to have more time than anyone else, he never seemed to get hit, always made a great pass. Even up in the stands looking down we couldn’t see the ice as well as Tony did.

“His combination with Ken Priestlay had us spellbound. Tony just always knew where Kenny would be; it was incredible to watch. When I practised I used to imagine I was the third player on that line. Kenny and Tony would do their thing and the Tony would find me with an inch perfect pass for me to score the winner in the play-off final against Nottingham. I guess I was Ed Courtenay! How many empty-net goals did he score because of Tony’s brilliance?

“The crowd used to take a gasp, I know I did.