How a Sheffield Steelers career never materialised for local boy

Sheffield-born ice hockey veteran Matt Towe has retired after 15 seasons...and says he'd have loved to have logged more than the three games he played for Steelers.

Friday, 8th April 2016, 8:36 pm
Matt Towe playing against Sheffield Steelers for Braehead Clan
Matt Towe playing against Sheffield Steelers for Braehead Clan

Former GB forward Towe, 28, from Woodhouse, has had a six-trophy career with the likes of Cardiff Devils, Belfast Giants and Braehead Clan. Now he has left his last club, Guildford Flames, for opportunities outside of the sport.

“I would have loved the chance to play more games for the Steelers, or to have signed full time with them would have been an honour, but I have no regrets with the path my career took” says Towe, whose parents live in Barlborough.

The skater had three Steeler appearances in 2006-07 and says: “At the time, Robert Dowd and I were playing for Sheffield Scimitars whilst also training with Steelers. The coach Dave Matsos gave us the opportunity as youngsters to experience the Elite League. I remember the respect he had from all of the team and can see why his coaching career has been successful in both the Elite League and North America. Steelers were stacked with established British guys and I had the opportunity to sign in Cardiff. Later, I did get a message from Ryan Finnerty some years later but had already agreed terms with another team.”

So who was the best team and coach he’s played under for? “I can’t single out one club; I’ve been lucky to play in some fantastic teams that looked after me from day one. In the Elite League I would have to say Ryan’s the best coach. The opportunities he gave me - he trusted me to play in every situation.”

One of his fondest memories to cherish will be winning the EPL with Guildford. “The League is a marathon. To be the best team every night over the course of eight months is a testament to the team and staff. I think Guildford’s future depends on the stability of the EPL. The team has ambition so it wouldn’t surprise me to see them join the Elite League but for now the EPL is best.”

Towe is now moving to Belfast with his fiancé.

“I’d love to be able to stay involved with the sport. I’m not sure what role it will be at the minute but I’m keen to see what options are available to me.”