The Paisley Pirates is one of the of the oldest ice Hockey clubs in Scotland they were formed in 1946, they continue to this day and now play at the Braehead Arena due to the Paisley Lagoon ice rink being unserviceable.
The main attraction of Paisley ice rink, to young and old, was the Paisley Pirates ice hockey team. The early teams were mainly Canadians. This brought a kind of North American culture and hero worship to Paisley. After each game, wee Paisley boys stood impatiently at the doors, clamouring for autographs. But it did not stop there. If you were lucky in the scramble, you might be given a broken hockey stick, quickly have it repaired with black electricians tape then play with it in the street and, with double ball bearing roller skates gliding over the tarmac, you became a Paisley Pirate”!
“Paisley pirates “
The “Paisley Pirates” were the epitome of the game in Scotland. In season 1953-4 they won the Autumn Cup, the Scottish Cup and the Canada Cup.
Their success brought them to the British League, but local supporters could ill afford to travel down South and gradually support waned. The junior team, the Wildcats, were wound up, followed by the Pirates. The Mohawks replaced them, but could not generate the enthusiasm of the Pirates. Paisley Buddies were delighted that the Pirates were relaunched in the 1990’s with the opening of the new ice rink and are living up to past glories.
In the late 1950’s, Paisley ice rink saw special exhibition tennis matches performed by Wimbledon stars Lew Hoad, Ken Rosewall, Pancho Segura and Rod Laver. Trouble was, the balls were hit so fast that they could barely be seen!
On 20th August 1965, a wee bit of history was made in Paisley. Cassius Clay, the world boxing champion heavyweight boxer, gave an exhibition bout to exited Scottish boxing fans. Paisley had never seen the likes since Benny Lynch fought a world title at Love Street in 1933!
Alas, in 1970, the old ice rink closed to ice sports, ostensibly for repairs. In November that year, only professional wrestling took place. Shortly after 1973 the building was closed, to be replaced by a supermarket.
The Paisley Pirates have a website http://www.paisleypirates.org/ and also are on Facebook and Twitter. Please click the links to find out and follow the Paisley Pirates who will forever be a part of Paisley’s proud history