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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Mark Garside announces retirement from professional hockey

Belfast Giants’ longstanding defenceman, Mark Garside.

The Stena Line Belfast Giants can confirm the retirement of longstanding defenceman, Mark Garside.


From East Kilbride, 35-year-old Garside first arrived in Belfast for the 2010/11 season and has since recorded over 670 appearances for the Giants across 13 seasons, making him to the most capped player in club history.

Prior to joining Giants, Garside spent four seasons with the Edinburgh Capitals in his native Scotland between 2006 and 2010, icing over 200 times for the Murrayfield-based side. Across his decorated 18-year career, treble-winner Garside skated for Great Britain’s men’s team at U18, U20, and senior level, notching a total of 40 appearances for the senior side, including two outings at the 2020/21 World Championships in Latvia.

Adam Keefe, Head Coach of the Belfast Giants, said:

“To say Mark is an Elite League and club legend would be an understatement. For over a decade, Mark has embodied what it means to be a Belfast Giant, and has played an integral role in the growth and success of the club throughout his tenure.


“Having been fortunate enough to have both played with and coached Mark, I know first-hand his presence on and off the ice, and I know I speak for everyone associated with the Giants when I wish him a happy retirement and the very best of luck for the future.”

Belfast Giants’ longstanding defenceman, Mark Garside.

Garside’s impact away from the ice has been just as profound, having been central to the Giants’ Healthy Lifestyle programme, which focuses on the importance of looking after both physical and mental wellbeing through maintaining a balanced diet, exercising regularly, getting sufficient sleep, and limiting stress to take steps towards a healthier lifestyle.


Reflecting on his career, Mark Garside said:

“Unfortunately, the time has come to call it a day. Throughout my career, I’ve had to deal with a persistent shoulder problem, and last season it reached a point where it would no longer recover enough to continue playing.

“It’s hard to put into words how much fun I’ve had, from my early career in Edinburgh, within the Team GB setup, and with the Giants. I’ve met so many wonderful people, shared so many laughs, and made so many great memories. To play in front of such dedicated and passionate fans over the last 13 seasons in Belfast has been a privilege, and I’m enormously proud of the success we’ve shared together.


“I’d like to thank all those who helped me along the way, the coaches, managers, teammates, medical staff, staff, and fans. Lastly, I’d like to say thank you to my family, my mum and dad who have done so much for me to follow my dream, and of course, my wife Becki for her unwavering love and support.”


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