One of the most iconic sporting trophies in the world arrived back home yesterday as the Keeper of the Cup Phil Pritchard landed in the UK with the Stanley Cup.

The Stanley Cup was donated in 1892 by Sir Frederick Arthur Stanley, Lord Stanley of Preston and Earl of Derby, to Canada’s top-ranking ice hockey club after visiting the country and becoming an ice hockey enthusiast.

Yesterday, it landed back in its country of birth and Ross Toomey, Managing Director of our great sponsors SMP Europe, picked up Phil and the Stanley Cup from Heathrow Airport.

On its arrival in Nottingham, it was wheeled into the Great Britain dressing room to the surprise of players and staff.

It then attended a Gala Dinner in Spotlight at the Motorpoint Arena with some very special guests.

We were very honoured to have IIHF President Luc Tardif with us, as well as Henrik Bach Nielsen (IIHF European Vice-President).

There were NHL legends in attendance with Lanny McDonald (President of the Hockey Hall of Fame) and Dainius Zubrus (President of Hockey Lietuva).

There were delegates from the IIHF, the Motorpoint Arena and from all six teams in the tournament, including new Ice Hockey CEO Henry Staelens.

The night began with a video speech from the Earl of Derby who was unable to attend because of planning for the King’s Coronation.

Ice Hockey UK Chair Clifton Wrottesley and IIHF President Luc Tardiff also spoke, while Lanny McDonald entertained all in attendance with some great stories.

Phil Pritchard gave us his fascinating and funny tales of the Stanley Cup and some of the amazing places it has been.

Everyone is attendance had a truly fantastic night and Ice Hockey UK would like to thank Mark Nelson and Ice Tech for their amazing support in bringing the Stanley Cup back to the UK.

Anyone in possession of a tournament pass or gameday ticket for today will have the privilege of being able to take their own photo with the Stanley Cup in the Motorpoint Arena from doors open until the first intermission of the Italy-Great Britain game.

Lanny McDonald and Phil Pritchard will be in attendance too, so you never know you might be able to grab a photo with them too!

Photos: Dean Woolley and