Stockport lad sets up fundraiser in race to compete at the World Para Ice Hockey Championships

He isn't the only one having to put down the money to compete at the Worlds.

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 6th March 2024

A local para-athlete from Stockport has been selected for the British Para Ice Hockey squad ahead of the 2024 World Championships and is now in a race to raise enough funds to be able to make it to the tournament in Norway.

So, let’s see if we can help him and some other members of his team out, shall we?

Offerton native Dean Lahan plays for the Manchester Mayhem Para Ice Hockey team over in Altrincham but is also known across Greater Manchester and parts of the UK as the ‘Fingerless Magician’, having sadly lost many of his digits along with his right leg through meningitis as a toddler.

Having featured in multiple stories throughout his youth and become a familiar face online through his impressive card tricks, the SK-born magician and para-athlete has once again been selected by Great Britain for Pool B of the World Para Ice Hockey Championships — but there’s a lot more to it than that.

As is unfortunately the case for many people at this level of sport, especially amongst the para-athletic community, there just isn’t enough funding to pay for everyone’s flights, accommodation, insurance etc, so Dean, like many of his teammates, has had to set up a fundraiser to hopefully pay his way.


Writing on his GoFundMe page, the 26-year-old wrote: “I have been selected to represent GB at the upcoming World Para Ice Hockey Pool B World Championships in Skien, Norway from 12-21 April 2024.

“During this tournament, we are competing against countries including Norway, Germany, Sweden, Kazakhstan and France. Our GB team is currently unfunded so all athletes including myself are responsible for self-funding their trip and associated expenses through either personal contributions or personal fundraising.”


Explaining his target, Lahan goes on to explain that “the cost of the trip for me will be around £2000 (to cover accommodations/food/local transport in addition to my flights and associated travel insurance)” — a sizeable financial obstacle for anyone, let alone those who have to make concessions due to disability.

Speaking to The Manc, Dean explained that “one of the main challenges is gathering these funds; we compete against other countries which are fully funded and play ice hockey as their job, whereas us GB players have to work full-time jobs as well as play ice hockey and train in the gym often late at night.

“I like to keep busy and am always looking for ways to challenge myself, training daily in the gym around 5:30am and with the world championships coming up I am currently training twice a day — this means my magic has had to take a back seat and is often done at weekends, weddings or private parties.


“I’ve been playing para ice hockey for coming up on nine years and still love the sport to this day, but there are around 30 in the men’s GB programme and of the 15 rostered for the competition roughly half are in need of funding.”

When asked why supporting events like this is so important, his response was as simple and inspiring: “Without the funding, a lot of athletes all over the country will be able to compete in a sport they love and it would be an absolute honour for any of us to play internationally for our country again.”

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Having nearly amassed half of his £2k target already with just over a month until the World Championships start, Dean and others like Josh Davies, Damien Barker, Jodi Hill and fellow Mayhem player Mark Colquitt are hoping to raise enough money in time for everyone to travel.

The time, money and graft that all of these wonderful individuals put in outside of everyday life is truly inspiring and serves as a reminder that more funding is still needed across various sporting disciplines.

If you want to help do your bit, you can help donate to Dean’s fundraiser HERE and we wish the British Para Ice Hockey team all the best for this year’s tournament.


Let’s bring it home.

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Featured Images — Dean Lahan (via GoFundMe) British Para Ice Hockey