London Ice Hockey - Streatham Ice Hockey News 2014 | Streatham Ice Hockey -
Jul 29, 2015

Ian Dunstan


All at Streatham Ice Hockey club have been shocked and devastated at the news of the passing of one of our long-term supporters Ian Dunstan.
Ian was a familiar face at all of our games both home and away, and will be sadly missed by fellow fans, the players and officials of the club. 

Our condolences of course go to his family and friends and we would like them to know that he was much loved by the Streatham hockey family. 

"Whenever we would warm up I would always notice Ian stood by the plexi" said Streatham defenceman David Carr.

"Even in times when we were on long losing streaks he would be there in the corner at rinks like the Isle of Wight and he would always give us a knowing nod of the head"

"I conversed with him mainly over email and he was witty but always passionate about the team. I was gutted to hear of his passing and I am sure many of the players will be also"

"Just looking at the tributes on his Facebook page from former colleagues and friends show how well thought of he was and I know the club are going to hold a minutes silence in tribute to him on our opening game this year"

Not much is known about Ian's private life as he was a quiet and reserved man, but he quietly donated funds to the club and often contributed to our matchday programme and we feel his own words sum up his relationship with the sport and indeed Streatham...

Rest in Peace Ian - From all of us in Streatham.

Dont look back in anger - by Ian Dunstan written in 2014

As I write this, the Redskins have just won 5 in a row (before the Cardiff game last night, so hopefully 6!).  As I am such on old git, I was thinking the other day that I waited 8 months from my first visit to the High Road until I saw my first Streatham win, an almighty spanking of the Deeside Dragons by 22 goals to 8.  However, even that got expunged a few weeks later as the Dragons breathed their last fiery roar and withdrew from the league.  I had to wait a couple of months before my first “real” win, a victory against the Trafford Metros, who played in the same rink as the current English Premier League team, the Manchester Phoenix. 

I used to wonder then why, when I made my way to games, home and away, only to see the Redskins get royally thrashed time and again.  There was the odd window of light, the occasional victory here and there – even the odd thought of “wow, they did well there”, in the case of a 5-3 defeat down in Gillingham (where Invicta Dynamos now play) against the Medway Bears.  Redskins goalie Jim Graves turned away 50+ shots in that game, and he even now looks fondly back on his time as a Redskin, sponsoring the away shirts recently.

So what is it that inspires such loyalty?  Even after my first full season following the team, in 1990/91, Streatham did not ice a team, following the withdrawal of their sponsors, Mecca, I kept on following hockey, via Lee Valley and (say it quietly) Romford, mainly in the hope of the return of the Redskins.  And that return happened the the following season, and boy, was it good to be back at the High Road!  The waiting outside where the smell of the damp rubber in the rink mixed with the aromas of fried chicken and kebabs wafting from over the road, you just couldn't beat it.

But after three more seasons at the High Road, once again, the Redskins went under, not to appear again for another decade.  During this time, I had moved away from South London, and despite being not too far from Guildford, did not see another game until I moved back to the area in 2006, and found out that Streatham had reformed.  No sooner was I back at the rink, and the love for the sport was reignited.  I recognised some names from the past – Joe Johnston (who I had seen make his début at 13 in 93/94, Shane Walsh (who I saw play for Richmond in 1990), but somehow, walking into the rink was like putting on a favourite pair of slippers – it just felt like home.  A few supporters I recognised, just nodded and said hello, as if it was only the previous Sunday that we had seen each other.

When Joe Johnston left the club for that one season a few years ago, I still remember his Facebook status when he left Invicta to come back to Streatham, saying something along the lines of “It has been a great season, but it is time to go home”.  And maybe that is why I have stuck along with the club over their fluctuating fortunes over the years – in that first game in February 1989, Warren Rost was on defence, Joe Johnston's uncle Jim was also on defence, recent coaches/administrators/players Adam Goldstone and Barry Spours were also playing. 

I have quoted Joe Johnston once before in this article, but I make no apologies for doing so again “It's a Streatham thing” - and that Streatham thing has seen me through getting disillusioned with football, sometimes despairing at cricket.  To paraphrase an old Heineken advertisement - “only Streatham can do this”.

So get banging on the plexi as the Skins look down at the rest of the league – long may it continue!

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