There’ll only ever be one Number 10 for Southern Stampede.
The Queenstown ice hockey team has retired the jersey of former captain and founding team member Simon Glass.
Glass’ number now hangs from the rafters above the home rink at Queenstown Ice Arena – aping the North American sports tradition.
“It’s a real honour,” Glass, who hung up his skates last season, says.
“When I was a kid, my dad used to play ice hockey on the national team and it was his number.
“So I’ve worn number 10 since I was a young boy – on pretty much every team I’ve played on.
“I wore it for the Stampede and also for the national team. Now when I go in there, it’s a humbling reminder of my career.”
Centre Glass, 32, played more than 100 games for Stampede – the fourth most capped player.
He is second highest scorer in the team’s history and fourth highest in the New Zealand Ice Hockey League.
Glass was captain from the first year of the team in 2005 – leading Stampede to the league title. They won again the next season and made it to the final three other times.
He also captained the Ice Blacks during his 10 years on the national team.
“It’s obviously a huge honour to play for your national team – but for me it was just as much of an honour to play for the Stampede,” Glass says.
“The season’s 16 games long and you build a team and a culture.
“It was a great part of my life. I played with some really good players, good mates, and had a heck of a good time.
“It was a close-knit group of friends who I’ve remained friends with.”
Glass also mentored young players, who will have had an eye on his jersey, but the number was left vacant this season with retiring it in mind.
“No one will wear it again, which is a real honour,” Glass says.