The British ice hockey league champions are the winners of the highest ice hockey league in the United Kingdom, currently the Elite Ice Hockey League. Previously, the highest league has been the British National League (1954–60), the Premier Division (1983–96) and the Ice Hockey Superleague (1996–2003).

History[edit | edit source]

Prior to the formation of the British National League, England and Scotland each had their own competitions. The English League was founded in 1931 with the Scottish National League being formed a year later. The majority of English League clubs left to form the English National League in 1935, leading the disbandment of the English League at the end of the 1935–36 season. The Scottish National League and English National League both continued until 1954. In that year the decision was taken to amalgamate the two leagues into one. The new competition initially fielded 12 sides in its inaugural season, four from England and eight from Scotland. The Dunfermline Vikings withdrew from the league in early 1955 and at the end of the season six of the seven remaining Scottish sides withdrew, leaving the league with five members. This fell to four following the closure of Harringay Arena in 1958 but increased again to five in 1959 following the admission of Streatham. The league was disbanded following the 1959–60 season.

Following the closure of the British National League, no league competition took place in the United Kingdom for the next six years. Instead clubs, some of which did not have a home rink, participated in rink tournaments. In 1966 the Northern League was formed. This league was made up of teams from Scotland and North East England and was the country's only league for four years. The Southern League was established in 1970 and was divided into the English League North and Inter-City League in 1978. The British Hockey League was formed in 1982 with the Premier Division being launched a season later. There has been a British league continuously since then, although there have been three different organizations and the number of teams taking part has varied from twelve between 1993 and 1995 to five in 2002–03. The current Elite Ice Hockey League was established in 2003.

In the 32 seasons in which a British league competition has been organized, a total of 38 clubs have taken part (although some clubs, such as the Ice Hockey Superleague's Newcastle franchise, have existed under different names). Of these 16 have won the league championship. The most successful club is the Sheffield Steelers, who have won the championship on six occasions and the now-defunct Durham Wasps who won the title five times. The Cardiff Devils have been champions four times, while the Coventry Blaze have won the title three times. Of the other teams currently playing in the Elite Ice Hockey League, the Belfast Giants have been champions twice while the Nottingham Panthers, the only club to have played in all 32 seasons, have won the title once. The Murrayfield Racers, a predecessor of the Edinburgh Capitals, won the championship on two occasions. The Durham Wasps, Murrayfield Racers, Cardiff Devils, Sheffield Steelers and Coventry Blaze are the only sides to have successfully defended a title.

Champions[edit | edit source]

1954–60: British National League[edit | edit source]

Season Winner (number of titles) Runner-up Third Top points scorer
Player Points
1954–55 Harringay Racers (1) Nottingham Panthers Paisley Pirates Chick Zamick (Nottingham) 112
1955–56 Nottingham Panthers (1) Wembley Lions Paisley Pirates Statistics not available
1956–57 Wembley Lions (1) Harringay Racers Brighton Tigers
1957–58 Brighton Tigers (1) Nottingham Panthers Harringay Racers
1958–59 Paisley Pirates (1) Wembley Lions Brighton Tigers
1959–60 Streatham (1) Nottingham Panthers Brighton Tigers

1983–96: Premier Division[edit | edit source]

Season Winner (number of titles) Runner-up Third Top points scorer
Player Points
1983–84 Dundee Rockets (1) Durham Wasps Streatham Redskins Roy Halpin (Dundee) 175
1984–85 Durham Wasps (1) Fife Flyers Murrayfield Racers David Stoyanovich (Fife) 175
1985–86 Durham Wasps (2) Murrayfield Racers Ayr Bruins Tim Salmon (Ayr) 254
1986–87 Murrayfield Racers (1) Dundee Rockets Nottingham Panthers Rick Fera (Murrayfield) 242
1987–88 Murrayfield Racers (2) Whitley Warriors Fife Flyers Scott Morrison (Whitley) 224
1988–89 Durham Wasps (3) Murrayfield Racers Nottingham Panthers Rick Brebant (Durham) 218
1989–90 Cardiff Devils (1) Murrayfield Racers Durham Wasps Steve Moria (Cardiff) 175
1990–91 Durham Wasps (4) Cardiff Devils Peterborough Pirates Rick Brebant (Durham) 209
1991–92 Durham Wasps (5) Nottingham Panthers Cardiff Devils Rick Brebant (Durham) 160
1992–93 Cardiff Devils (2) Murrayfield Racers Nottingham Panthers Tony Hand (Murrayfield) 185
1993–94 Cardiff Devils (3) Sheffield Steelers Fife Flyers Tony Hand (Murrayfield) 222
1994–95 Sheffield Steelers (1) Cardiff Devils Nottingham Panthers Tony Hand (Murrayfield) 207
1995–96 Sheffield Steelers (2) Cardiff Devils Durham Wasps Tony Hand (Sheffield) 135

1996–2003: Ice Hockey Superleague[edit | edit source]

Season Winner (number of titles) Runner-up Third Top points scorer
1996–97 Cardiff Devils (4) Sheffield Steelers Ayr Scottish Eagles Dale Junkin (Bracknell) 60
1997–98 Ayr Scottish Eagles (1) Manchester Storm Cardiff Devils Tony Hand (Sheffield) 39
1998–99 Manchester Storm (1) Cardiff Devils Nottingham Panthers Paul Adey (Nottingham) 56
1999–2000 Bracknell Bees (1) Sheffield Steelers Manchester Storm Ed Courtenay (Sheffield) 70
2000–01 Sheffield Steelers (3) Cardiff Devils Bracknell Bees Greg Bullock (Manchester) 60
2001–02 Belfast Giants (1) Ayr Scottish Eagles Sheffield Steelers Kevin Riehl (Belfast) 56
2002–03 Sheffield Steelers (4) Belfast Giants Nottingham Panthers Lee Jinman (Nottingham) 36

2003–present: Elite Ice Hockey League[edit | edit source]

Season Winner (number of titles) Runner-up Third Top points scorer
2003–04 Sheffield Steelers (5) Nottingham Panthers Coventry Blaze Mark Dutiaume (Sheffield) 88
2004–05 Coventry Blaze (1) Belfast Giants Cardiff Devils Dan Carlson (Coventry) 61
2005–06 Belfast Giants (2) Newcastle Vipers Nottingham Panthers Theo Fleury (Belfast) 81
2006–07 Coventry Blaze (2) Belfast Giants Cardiff Devils Dan Tessier (Sheffield) 84
2007–08 Coventry Blaze (3) Sheffield Steelers Nottingham Panthers Adam Calder (Coventry) 104
2008–09 Sheffield Steelers (6) Coventry Blaze Nottingham Panthers David-Alexandre Beauregard (Manchester) 107

Total titles won[edit | edit source]

Teams in bold are current Elite Ice Hockey League members. Teams in italics are teams which play outside of the Elite Ice Hockey League. The remaining teams are defunct, although Dundee, Edinburgh (home of the Murrayfield Racers) and Manchester still have their own ice hockey teams.

Club Winners Runners-up Winning Years
Sheffield Steelers 6 4 1994–95, 1995–96, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2003–04, 2008–09
Durham Wasps 5 1 1984–85, 1985–86, 1988–89, 1990–91, 1991–92
Cardiff Devils 4 5 1989–90, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1996–97
Coventry Blaze 3 1 2004–05, 2006–07, 2007–08
Murrayfield Racers 2 4 1986–87, 1987–88
Belfast Giants 2 3 2001–02, 2005–06
Nottingham Panthers 1 5 1955–56
Wembley Lions 1 2 1956–57
Harringay Racers 1 1 1954–55
Dundee Rockets 1 1 1983–84
Ayr Scottish Eagles 1 1 1997–98
Manchester Storm 1 1 1998–99
Brighton Tigers 1 0 1957–58
Paisley Pirates 1 0 1958–59
Streatham 1 0 1959–60
Bracknell Bees 1 0 1999–2000

Total titles won by Home Nation[edit | edit source]

Each of the four constituent nations of the United Kingdom have had at least one team who have been British champions. Teams from England have been league champions on 20 occasions, Scottish sides five times, while Welsh side Cardiff Devils and the Northern Ireland based Belfast Giants are the only sides from their parts of the United Kingdom to win the league.

Nation Number of titles Clubs
Flag of England England 21 Sheffield Steelers (6), Durham Wasps (5), Coventry Blaze (3), Nottingham Panthers (1), Bracknell Bees (1), Manchester Storm (1), Streatham (1), Brighton Tigers (1), Wembley Lions (1), Harringay Racers (1)
Flag of Scotland Scotland 5 Murrayfield Racers (2), Ayr Scottish Eagles (1), Dundee Rockets (1), Paisley Pirates (1)
Flag of Wales Wales 4 Cardiff Devils (4)
Flag of Ireland Northern Ireland 2 Belfast Giants (2)

Multiple title winners[edit | edit source]

British ice hockey has run numerous other competitions in addition to the league. The following teams have won titles in addition to the league championship in a season.

Teams won all titles available
Team Season Other titles won
Harringay Racers 1954–55 Autumn Cup
Nottingham Panthers 1955–56 Autumn Cup
Streatham 1959–60 Autumn Cup
Dundee Rockets 1983–84 Autumn Cup, Playoff Championship
Durham Wasps 1984–85 Autumn Cup
Durham Wasps 1988–89 Autumn Cup
Cardiff Devils 1989–90 Playoff Championship
Durham Wasps 1990–91 Autumn Cup, Playoff Championship
Durham Wasps 1991–92 Playoff Championship
Cardiff Devils 1992–93 Autumn Cup, Playoff Championship
Cardiff Devils 1993–94 Playoff Championship
Sheffield Steelers 1994–95 Playoff Championship
Sheffield Steelers 1995–96 Autumn Cup, Playoff Championship
Ayr Scottish Eagles 1997–98 Autumn Cup, Challenge Cup, Playoff Championship
Sheffield Steelers 2000–01 Autumn Cup, Challenge Cup, Playoff Championship
Sheffield Steelers 2002–03 Challenge Cup
Sheffield Steelers 2003–04 Playoff Championship
Coventry Blaze 2004–05 Challenge Cup, Playoff Championship
Coventry Blaze 2006–07 Challenge Cup
Coventry Blaze 2007–08 Knockout Cup
Sheffield Steelers 2008–09 Playoff Championship

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