Testimonial for Giants legend Walton

Published Tuesday, 12 February 2013
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Tributes were paid to home-grown Belfast Giants hero Graeme Walton at his testimonial game at the Odyssey Arena on Tuesday night.

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A host of greats joined the defenseman, affectionately known as Wally, to form an Allstar side which took on the Giants.

Like likes of Steve Thornton flew in for the occasion, joining fellow fan favourites including George Awada, Mike Hoffman and Mark Morrison to play in Walton's roster.

Current Giants general manager Todd Kelman also donned his skates to play for the Allstars - having already paid tribute to the player he described as "the local kid that never thought he would be a Giant, who ended up becoming everything that a Belfast Giant should be".

Walton, who is 30 years old, has racked up 10 years of service with his home team - becoming the first Northern Irish player to ever be selected for the national GB team along the way.

"He knows that this team belongs more to the people who cheer from the stands than it does to the players wearing the jerseys," Kelman said, writing for the team's official website.

"He knows that playing for his hometown team was his own little NHL."

The testimonial evening saw the players show off their skills on the ice, while the limited edition jerseys were raffled off and auctioned after the game.

The Allstars ultimately came out 14-8 winners.

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