The Ice Hockey Players Benevolent Fund (IHPBF) has made a number of grants to ice hockey players since it was founded in 1996.
Michelle, was the wife of Frank Morris, former GB international who spent 27 years playing in the UK, the mother to his 2 daughters and a son, she was diagnosed with gastric cancer in 2016. Extensive surgery and treatment took place which was successful in the short term. Late in 2017, however, she received news that the cancer had returned and expensive treatment was the only hope. The Fund was able to help fund treatment although sadly it was unsuccessful as she passed away in 2017.
Blaine an on ice official for over 25 years, was officiating a game in Streatham when a puck struck with a slap shot hit him in the mouth. Extensive dental work was needed resulting in loss of earnings. Insurance regrettably was only able to fund part of Blaine’s costs. The Fund was able to help out with a modest donation as without the dedication of officials like Blaine, ice hockey would cease to function.
Long serving player and former GB international Jonathon suffered an extensive facial injury during a game. Extensive treatment was required together with ongoing and expensive dental work. In addition Jonathon suffered considerable loss of earnings due to the treatment. The existing insurance within the sport only part funded the cost and Jonathon’s other losses. Again the Fund was able to provide some financial restitution to Jonathon and his family.
In November 2004 Elliot was playing for the Chelmsford Chieftains when he broke his arm during the game. His wages from the team were covered by insurance, but as a self employed salesperson he was unable to earn a living whilst recovering from the injury. At this time his partner was expecting a baby. As this was an expensive time during the couples life the Fund were able to give Elliot some money towards his living expenses together with a loan that was repaid at a later date.
Tyrone was playing for the Romford Raiders when in 2005 he got into financial hardship. He had obtained a career development loan to pay for a training course. The training company went into liquidation and this left Tyrone having to pay off the loan at a very high rate of interest. The Fund discharged the loan allowing Tyrone to repay the Fund interest free.
A Milton Keynes Lightning player Mikko ruptured his Achilles tendon whilst playing Badminton in 2005. As this was a non-hockey injury his club did not pay his wages and his injury prevented him from doing any other work for 17 weeks. He did receive some insurance for loss of hockey earnings but this still left a shortfall. The Fund was able to assist Mikko with living expenses during recovery.
Whilst playing for the London Racers in 2006 Paul suffered a traumatic knee injury that damaged two of the major ligaments. This happened less than a month before the Racers demise and the team had no insurance. This left Paul who was a full time player in serious financial difficulty. He decided to move back to Scotland to be near his relatives to receive the necessary support to help with his long recovery. The Fund was able to step in and provide financial assistance to alleviate his financial hardship.
Ross was playing for the Edinburgh Capitals during January 2006 when he broke his collarbone. He discovered that the team had no insurance and as Ross was unable to work for 7 weeks the Fund agreed a payment to assist with his living expenses.
Adam a former player for the Coventry Blaze, Slough Jets and Milton Keynes developed cancer that was diagnosed in 2014. Although he underwent surgery several times and radiation to fight this disease he decided to try a different treatment that is not provided by the NHS. To help with the cost the hockey community aided and initiated several fund raising appeals to help him access the necessary treatment and battle against this illness. The Fund where able to contribute towards theses appeals and stand ready to help in the future if required.
A former Cardiff Devils payer Scott was sadly diagnosed with terminal Motor Neuron Disease in 2015. This terrible disease has no known cure. The hockey community again rallied to help Scott and his family and organised several fund raising events. The IHPBF were able to contribute to these efforts providing financial assistance to Scott and his family to help with the cost of ongoing medical care and household adaptations.
A semi-pro player, Karl was involved in an accident on the ice in November 2000 when he was struck in the eye by a puck while playing for the Chelmsford Chieftains. The damage caused was extensive and to this day he still only has 30 per cent vision in that eye. Karl's biggest problem was that he was a self-employed electrician and unable to work for about 12 weeks. His club had insured him but this only covered his ice hockey income until the end of the season and the insurance took about eight weeks to pay out. The Fund was able to step in and give Karl and his family financial support immediately. Karl had to retire from playing.
In December 2002, Marc had an accident in training just after he had joined the Sheffield Steelers. Marc broke his collar bone and small bone fragments were circulating around his throat near his trachea which was classed as life threatening. The surgeon eventually stabilised his sternoclavicular joint along with puncturing his lung. Due to the severity of Marcs injuries, he was forced to retire whilst waiting for his second surgery for an a/c rotator cuff repair on the NHS three years later. Unfortunately Marc had not been insured by his new club so he had no income at all and was unable to work due to his injury. IHPBF were able to step in and give him financial aid.
Ryan started playing in 2002 for Manchester Storm and with the clubs early season demise he stayed over here in the hope that he would be able to pick up a new club. During this time he was living off his savings as he, and his team-mates, had not been paid for five weeks. Unfortunately, he suffered appendicitis and had to undergo an emergency operation. After the operation he decided to go back home to Canada with his girlfriend to recuperate at his parents home. When he was told that he would not be allowed to fly home for two weeks as his savings had run out, the Fund were able to step in and provide him with financial support.