The Bristol Honda Pitbulls can confirm that Richie Hargreaves will be retiring from hockey at the end of the current season. Richie will continue with his other roles at the club but will lace up his skates for the final time in Bristol competitively on Sunday night against the Invicta Dynamos before the potential to play at finals weekend in Milton Keynes.

In a statement, Richie said. 

Well that’s a wrap folks. I remember only yesterday thinking I’ve got it all to look forward to as a fresh faced 18-year-old learning the ropes. Although the heart says yes, one more year, the body screams you’re a fool, cut the cord. I have many great and fond memories and met many great people and team-mates who have become lifelong friends, it wouldn’t be fair to mention just a few. As a player, I like to think I never cheated anyone, and I always put the team first. Whether it was a goal, assist or even a bit of the rough stuff, it helped us reach our end goals.  

I’m very proud of my roots, coming from a city that went under the radar when it came to ice hockey. It definitely made me want to work harder and moulded me into the type of player you will have watched over the years. So, as I sign off as a player, I will let you decide how you want to remember me. I hope my energy and enthusiasm for the sport will continue to rub off on others and my toothless smile will live on in your memories.  

A statement wouldn’t be fitting without mentioning the people who sacrificed so that others could succeed. I owe everything to my parents who supported me so I could play the game I loved. My daughter, who makes me grateful I played so long so she had the opportunity to watch her old man play. To Mike and Becs, who gave me that healthy sibling rivalry and for always being the second-best hockey players in the family and never complaining 😉

Also, thanks to all my teammates over the years, all the great people over the years, and of course our newfound Pitbulls fans I have met. Because of this great game I will always be grateful. Finally, a special mention to Graham Goodman for his help over the past 13 years. 

Richie Hargreaves #37 

In a career spanning a quarter of a decade, Richie has done pretty much all you could do in British hockey. Beginning his career with the Cardiff Rage in the British Hockey League in 1997, Rich went on to play nearly a century of games in the Elite League for Basingstoke Bison, London Racers & Cardiff Devils. Richie also represented Great Britain after his 00/01 season where he led the EPIHL in scoring by British players whilst playing on the Isle of Wight. Richie also had a short stint in Canada playing for the Shelburne Wolves. In the 04/05 season which saw the NHL lockout occur, Richie iced alongside Scott Nichol and Eric Cairns who played 662 & 457 times respectively in the NHL. 

After winning the EPIHL play-offs with the Slough Jets in the 07/08 season, Richie looked for a new challenge, and started putting the wheels in motion to bring hockey back to Bristol. After a season as player/coach in Oxford, the Bristol Pitbulls were founded. In the opening season, Richie amassed over three points per game, leading his new team to the ENL2 title in a side featuring current Pitbulls Steve Osman, Mike Hargreaves & John Dibble. Richie averaged over a point per game every year until 2016-17, including the 2014-15 season, where the Pitbulls won the NIHL2 West Conference and then doubled up by winning the play-offs.  

After years of playing on the road in multiple different home rinks, Richie finally managed to get the Pitbulls a home in Bristol, for what is his last season as a player. As of this announcement, Rich has pulled on a Pitbulls jersey a record 308 times (11 more than brother Mike), scoring 141 goals (3rd all time), recording 304 assists (1st all time) & totalling 445 points (1st all time). Those who know Rich don’t need to be told he also leads the franchise in penalty minutes, having picked up 1100 of them. With a potential four more games to come, Richie has played 831 career games, scored 286 goals, notched up 571 assists and accumulated 2424 penalty minutes. 

Everyone associated with the Bristol Honda Pitbulls wish Richie well in the future, continuing in his role of Director of Hockey Ops at the Pitbulls.