June 6, 2017
The LMC and clubs of National League South are pleased to confirm that their two divisions will be named in memory of Bill Britton and Bob Wilkinson.
Initially the names were given to the two conferences of NIHL S1, however when the league set up reverted to two single divisions the clubs were eager for the names to remain to honour two great servants of the sport.
Division 1 South will be named after Bill Britton. Bill was the founding chair of the EPL and secretary of the then ENL as well as secretary for the EIHA as a whole. He was chair of the Womens Section before his sudden death in 2005.
Division 2 South will carry the name of Bob Wilkinson. Bob sadly died earlier this year, and was honoured at the recent EIHA Conference Tournament which he founded. His passion for and work with junior hockey is legendary. He was NIHL league manager for the North as well as working with IHUK and Great Britain teams.
The NIHL 17/18 season gets underway in September and will conclude with a joint North-South playoff weekend in April 2018. Details of the date and venue will be confirmed very soon.
League Manager Richard Carpenter said: “Both men are highly respected by the clubs in the south and when we lost the conferences everyone was keen to keep the names for divisions 1 and 2 to mirror the north where they have Moralee and Laidler.
“As an EPL chair and ENL secretary it’s a natural fit for Bill Britton’s name to be associated with Division 1. Similarly in Division 2 there are many ‘development’ clubs who follow Bob Wilkinson’s junior development ethos.
“The National League as a whole has had a hectic month, we’re happy that the focus now seems to be shifting towards on ice matters and we look forward to the puck dropping in September.”
There is more from Richard Carpenter in a special EIHA podcast which will be online Tuesday night as he talks about the restructure of the leagues, taking in the EPIHL clubs and working to bring the NIHL together.