SWINDON Wildcats paid tribute to fans, volunteers and more after it was confirmed the National Ice Hockey League season was postponed.

Cats had two games left to play - plus a play-off schedule - before the sport became one of many to shut up shop as the coronavirus threat grows.

That left them sat second in the NIHL National standings behind only Telford Tigers.

Player-coach Aaron Nell lauded Link Centre fans after what would turn out to be their final home game on Saturday, a 5-1 victory over Leeds Chiefs.

And the club echoed his praise with a message on their website.

It read: “Following the announcement on Monday that the remainder of the 2019/20 NIHL National Season has been postponed, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank a few people and provide an update on what is happening going forward.

“With the news that the rest of the 19/20 season has been postponed now is an appropriate time to thank a lot of people for all the hard work they put into match night at the Swindon Wildcats.

“Firstly, and probably most importantly, the fans. Without you there would be no team.

“The attendances have been amazing this season and we cannot thank you enough for the support since September.

“The noise levels have been the loudest we’ve had and the support you have given us has been second to none.

“We’d like to thank our massive family of sponsors who without you the product you watch on the ice would not be possible.

“We’re proud to be working with such a varied array of businesses and we hope to continue working with you in the coming seasons.

“Next we’d like to thank our army of volunteers who help the match night experience to be what it is.

“Our 50/50 sellers, our programme sellers, the chuck-a-puck sellers and everyone else who works behind the scenes to bring you a Saturday night at the hockey.

“A special mention must go to our Stage Crew who provides the audio and visuals for the match night atmosphere.

“Next up we have the Staff, from our equipment managers to our physios.

“You all work tirelessly home and away to help the team and we really do appreciate the hard work you put in to support us on game days.

“You can’t have a hockey team without players. The class of 19/20 will never be forgotten, the work ethic shown night in and night out and the way you played with pride and commitment.

“It was a competitive season but one where you can be proud of the compete you showed over the course of the season just falling short.

“It goes without saying, we wish we’d have been playing hockey this weekend and preparing for the end of season playoffs but sometimes life comes before hockey.

“We hope our sponsors, volunteers, staff, players and fans have a good summer.

“We hope you all stay safe in this difficult time and get ready for another action-packed hockey season in September.”