By Gareth James
Cardiff-born forward and Sheffield Steelers captain Jonathan Phillips has announced his retirement at
the end of the season, after playing an integral role in the rise of Team GB to the elite level of the sport.
Former Devils player Phillips has captained the national team since 2012 and holds the all-time appearance
record with 111 caps.
He is expected to add to that tally at the 2023 IIHF World Championship in Nottingham. While Phillips has played
for other teams, including the Devils, Basingstoke Bison, Milton Keynes Lightning, and Passau Black Hawks,
Sheffield is his true hockey home.
As captain of the Steelers, Phillips has lifted every trophy on offer, winning four Elite League titles, three EIHL Playoff crowns, and one Challenge Cup.
In fact, the 40-year-old has played in more Elite League games than any other player, with an incredible 1,175 appearances to his name.
Throughout his career, Phillips has amassed 442 points (168 goals, 274 assists) in 914 regular-season games in the Elite League.
However, his impact extends beyond just his statistics, as he has been a leader and role model for many young players in the sport and an inspiration to those in Wales.
Phillips will always be remembered as one of the greatest UK players to ever grace the ice, and his legacy will continue to inspire future generations of hockey players.
“This is my last season. During the summer I started to think I had reached the age where I needed to find another career,” he told BBC Radio Sheffield.
“It’s difficult to go out into the big wide world at any age, never mind at 40. My body still feels really good and
I think I could carry on for three or four more years, but I just thought it was time.”
Phillips added: “I never thought I’d be here so long. I don’t think there’s been many times that I signed more than a one-year contract.
“It’s just crazy to think I’ve played over 1,000 games here, it’s something that makes you smile inside.
“We’re completely settled in Sheffield and we’re here for life.”
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