Hockey fan ejected after altercation with player returns to claim £500 raffle prize

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Graham Ritchie is a Fife Flyers season ticket holder of the Elite Ice Hockey League, which is made up of 10 teams in the United Kingdom.

Two weeks ago, Ritchie was ejected from a Jan. 21 game when he got into an altercation with Eric Neilson of the Manchester Storm that resulted in Ritchie pouring a beer down Neilson’s back and the player responding with punches.

Ritchie was heading to a local pub on his way out of Fife Ice Arena when he received a phone call asking him to come back. Did he leave something behind? Did someone from security or the team want to speak with him? Nope, not at all. Actually, it was something much more desirable.

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You see, the call Ritchie received was telling him that he had won the game’s £500 (approx. $633 USD) raffle, which would improve anyone’s spirits after getting kicked out of a hockey game.

“I was gutted at being thrown out but then got the news that I’d won the 50/50 halftime draw,” he told the Daily Record. “I went back to the stadium and told the security guys I’d won £500 – they couldn’t believe it after what had happened. I collected the money no bother so they couldn’t have been that worried about what had happened earlier.”

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Ritchie then had a full pocket of cash and a story to tell when he finally reached the pub. No word yet if that was his last trip to the rink for a while.

Neilson was also ejected and given a three-game suspension from the EIHL Department of Player Safety as well as a six-game suspended sentence, which will activate if he’s involved in another incident before the end of the 2017-18 season. And since it’s currently missing from the rink and played a big role in the incident, Fife will install plexiglass between the visitors’ bench and the fans by the beginning of next season to prevent another fan/player interaction like this one.

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!