Yes, we can assure you that one of the players on a major junior hockey team based in Spokane, Washington happens to be the son of an English pop star from the 1970s and a model from New Zealand. We can also assure you, after it had been suggested in the summer, that Liam Stewart will indeed play for Team Great Britain at the International Ice Hockey Federation U-20 World Championship.
No, Great Britain will not be icing a team to skate with junior hockey powerhouses Canada, the United States, and Sweden in Malmö, Sweden starting Boxing Day, but the British do ice a team in the Division I Group B, the third tier of world competition. That tournament is scheduled to be played from December 9 to 15 in Dumfries, Scotland, with the winner being promoted to Group A for next year's tournament. Stewart, the son of Rod Stewart (yes, that Rod Stewart) and Rachel Hunter, is also a member of the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League and was officially named to the roster Tuesday.
“The opportunity to represent your country in international competition is always special and the Spokane Chiefs are supportive and proud for Liam to have this chance,” Chiefs General Manager Tim Speltz said. “The tournament being held in Great Britain magnifies the experience for Liam and his family.”
Stewart, who was born in London and has a British passport, was raised in the United States and lists his hometown as Hermosa Beach, CA. The son of British rockstar Rod Stewart and New Zealander model Rachel Hunter, Stewart was the Chiefs’ Rookie of the Year for the 2011-12 season after scoring 14 goals and 12 assists. In his third season with the Chiefs, he has 5 goals and 8 assists in 24 games.
“The Chiefs will also benefit as this opportunity will contribute to Liam’s development as a player and a leader. We will miss Liam in the games he will be gone but wish him all the best representing the country he was born,” Speltz added.
Despite the British passport, Stewart does not count towards the limit of two imported players each team in the Canadian Hockey League is allowed to carry. Americans don't count towards the limit and for CHL purposes, Stewart is an American.
Liam is, of course, the son of the much more well-known Rod Stewart, who came into prominence as a solo artist in the 1970s with such songs as 'Maggie May', 'Reason to Believe' and the classic love ballad 'Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?'. Despite being the son of one of the best-selling musical artists of all time, and one known for his onstage persona, Liam swears it's his mother, the model Hunter, that he's teased about the most. Stewart and Hunter's relationship ended in 2006 (per Wikipedia) and Liam has his father's name, but there aren't many junior hockey players who can say their mother appeared in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, and there are probably fewer that would ever admit to it.
Father Rod, incidentally, was photographed at a Chiefs home game back during Liam's rookie season. There aren't any direct daily flights from London to Spokane, but perhaps Rod will get out to cheer on his son and his country in Dumfries. What are the odds that he's not the only player on the roster to have a parent that was an internationally-recognized singer in the 1970s, anyway?
Stewart is expected to miss four games for the Chiefs while playing for his home nation.