Interviewed August 1996
Tell us about yourself!
My name is Mark Grayson-Wood and I live in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, but I'm from Manchester (well Stockport) originally. I work for Leeds Metropolitan University as a Market Analyst.
What's the story behind you becoming a Manchester Storm fan?
My brother plays hockey for the Altrincham Eagles recreational team and we used to go watch him at their matches, but we never watched the Mets and we don't watch the Aces now, though I suppose we should. When the Nynex opened my brother - "Woody" got a job as the home team penalty box attendant and they gave him some free tickets so our old folks and friends went along to
see if it was any good. Of course it was and the Storm kept winning so we kept going to watch.
What's your favourite place to watch the matches in the Nynex Arena?
If we get free tickets, we sit in 103 behind the penalty boxes. If we have to pay we sit anywhere. We haven't sat behind the Storm bench yet - we've got tickets for the away game at the Steelers so we'll sit behind the team then. Should be good.
How do away rinks that you've been to compare to the Nynex?
I haven't been to any UK rinks apart from Altrincham, which needs about a million pounds spending on it. Sheffield and Newcastle are supposed to be good, but of course the Storm didn't go there last year. The only other hockey I watched was at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto which is obviously much, much bigger - about the size of Old Trafford and that was really impressive. The hockey was good too, though it was really expensive - $70 Cdn for a ticket (about 35 quid).
What was your favourite player from last season?
I think Jago because of his incredible shooting. He could score from the car park. Byram is worth a mention and Ruggles is his own worst enemy. Woodcroft has had a great start this season and so has Rubachuck. Ask me
again at the end of the season.
What do you think of Jon Hammond - the announcer?
I think he's good. He's really enthusastic and good at getting the information across. His jokes are sometimes a bit cringe worthy though.
Good - they get the chants going when the team need it. I'd like a bit of the hammond organ that you get at some rinks - but I suppose we've got the piped music instead.
I know Liz personally. She's the bench coach for the Eagles and she knows a lot about hockey. She is also a computer networking consultant.
The ice-cream sellers?
Never buy anything. The Ogden franchise is a complete rip-off.
What was your favourite game that you've seen so far?
The play off against Blackburn when we won the league. Not so much for the hockey which was OK but for the party in the Arches after.
What was the worst?
Was it Swindon? When there was a lot of blood and puke on the ice. A bit of rough stuff is OK, but it's a bit like a video game - you don't want anyone to really get hurt.
Have you held up a sign? If so, what was on it?
I haven't. I would like to hold one up that said DECK HIM whenever the opposing team got the puck. Or OUCH whenever someone took a big hit.
Would you like to drive a Zamboni?
Yes or get a piggy back off Mark Pallister on the ice - same thing.
Have you ever ice skated before? Are you any good?
I have skated, though I'm no good. I was put off by my brother pushing me over whenever I got going.
What's your favourite tune that gets played at the Nynex in between the action?
You've got to FIGHT... for your RIGHT... to PAAAAAAAAAAAARTAY!!!!
Do you have a favourite fight that has happened in a match?
Not really. The gloves always seem to stay on anyway.
Anything else we should know?
I think the Storm will have more supporters than Man City this year and we need to see more of it on TV (not just Sky). I hope all the Storm fans are going to support the UK national team which is doing quite well at the minute. I'd like to see some international matches - i.e. Storm v Maple Leafs or Canadiens or Rangers so we could really compare the difference
between the Superleague and the NHL.
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