Ice hockey ace Liam Kirk czechs out with a fond farewell to fans

Liam Kirk in action. Picture by Dean WoolleyLiam Kirk in action. Picture by Dean Woolley
Liam Kirk in action. Picture by Dean Woolley
WELL-TRAVELLED ice hockey star Liam Kirk has quit his Czech team and is being linked with a move to a crack German club.

The Maltby-born former Sheffield Steelers' winger had been enjoying an accomplished season at HC Litvínov.

But his team plunged out of the play-offs and Kirk has since posted an emotional farewell to the club and its fans.

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He said he had never before felt such love from supporters as those at the rink in the small city of north west Bohemia.

Liam Kirk with partner Alisha YakubLiam Kirk with partner Alisha Yakub
Liam Kirk with partner Alisha Yakub

But the time had come to move on – and the speculation is that he is on his way to Eisbären Berlin in the famed DEL.

That would be a big money move for a player who earned world attention when he was drafted in 2018 by Arizona Coyotes of the NHL.

The 24-year-old forward said he would miss Litvínov and its fan base.

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He thanked them, saying: "It has been really special to be here.

"It was definitely a hard decision to leave but one I think is going to be good for my career.

"I have never felt love like that before, after scoring a goal and hearing you guys chant my name.

"Litvínov has got a special place in my heart."

Kirk's career had originally become a subject of speculation after he failed to land the posting he wanted with Arizona.

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But after a 25-game spell with Jukurit in Finland, the Great Britain regular played 65 games with Litvínov.

His play-off form was excellent, scoring nine goals and four assists, to earn a point a game on average.

That was on top of 30 points in 52 regular season outings.

Eisbären Berlin is a 70-year-old founding member of the DEL and have won the DEL championship more often than any rival.

If he goes there, Kirk will play in front of up to 14,200 fans at the Uber Arena.

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