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"A real gentleman..." Guildford Flames owner pays tribute to John Nike

Guildford Flames Rockman

11:59am 29th December 2016
(Updated 1:24pm 29th December 2016)

The founder of one of the country's premier league iced hockey teams has died.

John Nike formed the Bracknell Bees soon after opening the Bracknell Ski Centre and Ice Rink in the late eighties.

The businessman, who was awarded an OBE in 2002 for services to business and the community, remained chairman of the ice hockey club for many years - until 2005.

The 81 year old died on Christmas day.

The owner of the Guildford Flames, John Hepburn, described him as "a very good man." 

Mr Hepburn said the self-made businessman was "a real gentleman" who "was one of the leading lights of ice hockey."

On its website, the Bracknell Bees said the club was "saddened and stunned" at his passing.

It said: "Born in 1935 Mr Nike not only founded the Nike Group Of Companies but opened the Bracknell Ice Rink in 1987 and soon after formed the Bracknell Bees of which he remained Chairman until the end of the 2004-05 season.

"Under Mr Nike's chairmanship the club won four League championships, four Cup championships and a Playoff championship.

"Since the 2005-06 season Mr Nike has granted an operational license for the Bracknell Bees brand to other interested parties including the current license holders."

It said Mr Nike was also commissioned as a Deputy Lieutenant of Berkshire in 2005, and admitted as an Honorary Freeman of the Borough of Bracknell Forest in 2013.

It said he "leaves a legacy in place not only with The Nike Group Of Companies but also in his involvement and commitment to the local community and various charities.

"The Bracknell Bees players, staff, management and volunteers, who were all deeply saddened by the news, all wish to extend their deepest sympathies to Mr Nike’s wife Sue, his family, friends and employees at this time."


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