Manchester Phoenix: Tony Hand to retire from playing aged 47

Tony Hand
Tony Hand's playing career has spanned four decades

Manchester Phoenix's former Great Britain head coach Tony Hand will retire from playing at the end of the season, at the age of 47.

Former GB player Hand spent less than two years in charge of the national team and left in June 2013.

The Scot has been player-coach at Phoenix since 2006 and led them to the English Premier League title twice as well as a play-off victory.

"I decided a few months ago," Hand told BBC Radio Manchester.

"When you've played as long as I have, I'm sort of looking forward to the retirement and also heavily getting more involved in the coaching."

Hand began his career at Murrayfield Racers in 1981 at the age of 14 and has also played for Sheffield Steelers, Ayr Scottish Eagles, Dundee Stars, Edinburgh Capitals and Belfast Giants.

He has scored 4,250 points over 34 seasons in the sport and was the first British-born player to get drafted by the NHL - in 1986 by the Edmonton Oilers.

Hand will play his final game against Bracknell Bees on Saturday, 21 March.