Superstar teenage hockey player from Harborough is one of the top goalies in the UK

Vinnie Bennett Graziano playing roller hockey for Team Great Britain against Italy
Vinnie Bennett Graziano playing roller hockey for Team Great Britain against Italy

A brilliant Market Harborough schoolboy sportsman has the world at his feet in not just one form of hockey but THREE – ice, roller and field.

Vinnie Bennett Graziano, 14, is so outstanding that he’s now ranked one of the top three ice hockey goalies in the UK.

The teenage Harborough superstar has starred for Great Britain in roller hockey – and is on the brink of England Under-15 ice hockey squad.

Vinnie’s thrilled dad Kev Bennett, 59, of St Mary’s Road, Harborough, said: “We are so proud of Vinnie.

“He’s a real sporting powerhouse – and just loves his hockey.

“Vinnie has got an amazing talent but he works so hard week in week out and keeps his feet firmly on the ground.”

The self-employed businessman said Robert Smyth Academy student Vinnie started playing roller hockey when he was eight and quickly got into ice hockey and field hockey as well.

“Vinnie’s turned out to be a genuine natural.

“He plays for The Outlaws roller hockey side, based at Ashby Parva, and was fantastic for the Team GB roller hockey team in the European Championships in Italy last month,” said Kev, who runs Harborough Upholstery.

“Vinnie earned an 84 per cent save rate against some of the best players across Europe in the competition – and that’s phenomenal.

“He plays ice hockey for Nottingham and has done really well in trials for England.

“Vinnie’s also been asked to guest for Peterborough Phantoms ice hockey outfit – and plays field hockey for Market Harborough Hockey Club to top it all.”

The devoted father-of-nine racks up an incredible 40,000 miles-a-year driving his youngest child to training and matches all over the country – from Whitley Bay in the north to Swindon in the south.

“It’s all-consuming.

“Training alone takes up about 26 hours a week.

“It costs us about £12,000-a-year to fund Vinnie,” smiled Kev, married to Maria, 56.

“His ice hockey keeper’s kit alone knocks us back £5,000.

“Market Harborough and the Bowdens charity sponsors Vinnie along with one or two local companies and we’re very grateful for their help.

“Vinnie also teaches field hockey to youngsters and loves it – he’s an inspiring role model and the kids can relate to him.

“He’s got his heart set on becoming a professional ice hockey star and we’ll do all we can to help make his dream come true.”