Solent Stars - Memories

by Mike Griffiths

Griffiths joined Solent Stars in August 1983 having graduated from Lancaster University while playing 3 seasons for Warrington, Blackpool & Birchwood.


Recruited by Harry Smith with a meeting at the PentaHotel in Knightsbridge.

New coach Jim Kelly with Steve Fitzsimons asst. Professional approach. Strong team - esp Tony Watson who I'd met at World Student Games that summer. Karl Tatham, TJ Robinson, Mark Saiers, John Johnson, Paul Philp. ... Strong team with well coached offense which centred on combination of John Johnson and inside threats.

Won all that season I think. Lost in early stages of European competition leading ID financial difficulties.

Nautilus fitness equipment at Solent Health Club. Strong team - Jacuzzi after practices.

Following season: Brian Skeoch and Dan Callandrillo.

Brian Skeoch - the man who broke the alt pull down bar at Solent Health Club. Legendary strength and drinking capacity.

John Johnson - outstanding offence.

Game at the time seemed to be growing with weekly Channel 4 TV and increasing sponsorship money available.

Loss of Bob Sperring as sponsor and over commitment financially led to team's "collapse".

Dan Callandrillo - stopped shaving once the money troubles began. He seemed more affected than others by circumstances.

New organisation helped with limited cash from locally based directors including Malcolm Le Bas and Richard Tear.

OK initially but limited funds and lack of strong full-time coach meant that club declined.

Left to play for Kingston in 1985/86.

Played at occasional intervals in following years.

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