The day two best mates brawled on team bench

It was one of the most embarrassing things ever witnessed at a British ice hockey match - two pals brawling on their own bench!

The bust-up happened between Andre Payette, now coach of Sheffield Steeldogs and David Longstaff, a six year player with Steelers, now at Guildford Flames.

Andre Payette Sheffield Steeldogs

Andre Payette Sheffield Steeldogs

At the time the pair were playing for Newcastle Vipers.

The skaters lock horns again tomorrow, When Dogs entertain Flames.

Payette regards ‘Lobby’ as a brother and rates him on a par with the likes of Tony Hand and Ashley Tait.

But he relishes recollecting the infamous moment they fell out.

Guildford Flames forward David Longstaff

Guildford Flames forward David Longstaff

“I’ve been fortunate to play four or five years on the same line as Lobby. We were inseparable. I was asst captain and he was the captain and we had a fight on the bench over something; it made the front page of the paper!”

While that incident is consigned to hockey folk lore, Payette is lavish in his praise of a player who will be 39 in August. “He’s so strong on the puck, he sees the ice, he is so intelligent” he said on video at thestar.co.uk

“Lobby is right up there with Tony and Ash. There are not many British players who have the resume Lobby has, he has over 100 caps for Great Britain, and he has won everywhere he has been. “

“He is still one of the best players in Guildford. He is a heck of a player and loves the game so much. In the last few years Lobby has really adapted to working out in the off season and keeping himself fit. He is in the gym every day and wants to play as long as he can.

We play hard against each other but after the game, we always catch up. He is like a brother to me.”

Steeldogs have lost to Manchester and Guildford recently, but “won the two we needed to win” (against Peterborough and Bracknell.)

This weekend they face Flames at home and then Telford away.

Their Elite League neighbours Steelers have back-to-back games with Cardiff Devils, the home leg on Sunday.