Cardiff Devils legend to have landmark game held in his honour

-Credit: (Image: James Assinder)
-Credit: (Image: James Assinder)


One of Wales' most tenured ice hockey players has reflected back on his career ahead of a testimonial game being held in his honour. Ben Davies, 33, has played for the Cardiff Devils for over 10 years, and to celebrate the rare achievement they are holding a testimonial game on June 1.

Ben, from Cardiff, says he started playing ice hockey between the age of five or six after joining the Cardiff Devils junior programme. While other kids were out playing football or rugby, his family would find Ben on the rink. "I just went to a public skate with my parents and, obviously took to [it]. I really enjoyed the skating lessons and then slowly moved into the junior ice hockey side of things. It just progressed from there. I was always lucky enough to be where I kind of had a hand of the sport."

Throughout his career Ben’s parents have been his biggest supporters making financial sacrifices so that their son can travel the world pursuing his dream. His dad, a former rugby player, knows all about physical contact when it comes to sports. Ben played for the juniors’ programmes until the age of 16 when he was called up to play for the senior team in 2007 - proving a tough time for him as he had to balance career commitments with other aspects of his life.

Read more: The Welsh-born sports star who's world-famous but you've probably never heard of

Read more: Father-of-two suffers cardiac arrest on ice rink as teammates rush to perform life-saving CPR

Ben said: "For the first few years I was learning the professional side of the game, that it was a different style of hockey. There was obviously physicality involved, fighting to a certain degree at that point where I was still very young. I was still in the first year or two. I was still balancing going to my A-levels."

After seven straight seasons with the Cardiff Devils, Ben wanted a new environment and moved around to play in countries like France and Scotland. He even had a 25-game stint in the European Hockey League (EHL) where he played in front of sold-out arenas and stadiums.

Ben celebrates as Cardiff Devils player Angers Ducs -Credit:James Assinder
Ben celebrates as Cardiff Devils player Angers Ducs -Credit:James Assinder

However, the Devils have always been Ben’s true home and he returned in 2021. Since then the Cardiff Devils have won the 2021-2022 British championship playoffs and the EHL playoff title in 2022. Ben played in his 800th game in all Elite League competitions last season, reaching the milestone against the Dundee Stars on December 4. However, after all the accolades Ben has received throughout his career the testimonial match is just as important to him.

"You have this testimonial which is a great honour really from the club. I love the club and I’ve worked hard so to get this, it is nice. It's nice recognition. Ten years in a club. Not everyone, you know, not a lot of people really got to experience that."

Although Ben is still keen to play when he can, like any professional athlete he is aware that he can’t play forever and is looking to life after hockey. "I look after my body. I try and do the right things. I'm aware of my age and I can't keep doing it forever. So there's aspects of that where I'm trying to position myself in a good spot for when I do retire, that I can kind of transition into something else I want to get into. I want to keep in sport I believe, maybe ice hockey to a lesser degree. I want to go into like performance coaching, advising."

Ben's testimonial game will take place on June 1 where he will reunite with old friends to celebrate almost two decades of playing hockey. While he don’t know what the future holds, for one night in the Vindico arena it will all be about Ben's legacy so far.