Former Dundee Stars forward, Paul Berrington spent three seasons with the club and his last was nearly 15 years ago but he still remembers his successful time in Tayside fondly.

By Kris Smith

Now 45-years-old and retired from professional hockey, Paul first joined the Stars at age 26 and was a key player in the first ever team that won both the British National League championship and playoff title in the organisation’s inaugural season.

Berrington’s last campaign with the team was back in 2005 and he started off by explaining what he has been doing since then, he said: “I moved to Dublin in early 2011 and have now settled here.

“I met my wife here and now have two kids, my oldest is called Ava, who is soon to be five and then there is Max, who is just three months old.

“So, I’m kept more than busy with family and work.”

Paul has treasured some memories from his very first year in Dundee and shared a bit more about what made that season so special.

He added: “The 2001 season was a lot of fun because the team was new, the fans were a good mix of old hockey fans who grew up with the Dundee Rockets and people new to the game.

“We quickly established ourselves as a good team and went to on to have a very successful season which always makes it more fun and makes it more memorable.

“My last two seasons were fun but I struggled to stay healthy throughout both seasons.”

 

 

Therefore, undoubtedly his favourite memory of his time with the Stars was in that first campaign where the team collected the pair of championship trophies.

“I think it has to be the buzz of winning the league then the playoffs in 2001, we had some real characters that were very talented and a lot of fun to be around that year”, said Paul.

The Scottish-Canadian from Kitchener, Ontario was one of a few players to play on both sides of the River Tay and he shared a bit more insight into how it feels to play on both sides of the biggest rivalry in Scottish ice hockey.

Berrington commented: “The two experiences were very enjoyable in their own way.

“I broke into senior hockey with Fife Flyers at age 15/16 after playing at Under 16 level in Fife.

“We won the British Division 1 title in my first full season, which was a lot of fun, playing alongside and becoming friends with guys like Frank Morris, Ian Robertson and Scott Plews was great but we would all become arch enemies in future though!

“I loved the Stars/Flyers rivalry when playing with the Stars, without doubt they were the most enjoyable games to play in as the atmosphere in the rink was always electric.”

Paul signed with the Stars in 2001 and he also discussed some of the reasons why he chose to come back to Scotland.

“I had suffered a “career ending” shoulder injury in 98 while playing in the US”, he explained.

“I was still young and missed playing, so I worked hard to rehab my injury to a point where I could play again.

“I grew up in the local area and thought it would be fun to return and to join a new club/rink, so I played another 5 seasons in the UK which was a bonus.”

Finally, Paul had a message for all the Stars fans back in Dundee, he said: “I want to wish them all well, especially in these challenging times.

“We shared some fantastic times together and those are memories I am sure we all cherish.

“Hopefully everyone is still enjoying their hockey and supporting the Stars!”

That concludes our series of ‘Look Back’ articles on the first ever Dundee Stars season but there is plenty more still to come, as next week we take you back to the 2002-2003 season.

If you want to be a part of the historic 20th Dundee Stars season then you can buy your season tickets by contacting [email protected]

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