BORN NOVEMBER 11TH 1972 in Melbourne, he attended Werribee Technical School and later RMIT. He started his junior career in the Victorian league with the Pirates IHC at Footscray Iceland where his father, Frank, was a club stalwart with a ferocious reputation on the ice. And if you listen carefully to the old timers in the stands, you might even hear it said his older brother, David, followed in his father's footsteps, although at times with less subtlety. He won his state's first Under-13 championship in Perth in 1984, the President's Cup. When both the Footscray rink and the Pirates folded, he moved across to the Demons IHC, winning the 1987 Junior-B Premiership at 15.
He began his senior career in 1988 when he was 16, then resumed between 1992 and 2000 for a total of 142 games. After a long break, he returned to the Club in 2010 where he has so far played a total of over 200 senior games (1988, 1992-00, 2010-11, 2013-14, '16). Now ranked 30 for most games of all time with the Demons, he played his 200th senior game in 2016, scoring in excess of 100 goals over the 28 intervening years. The same number of assists gave him a total in excess of 200 career points, an average a little over a point each game. In the mix were five hat-tricks, the club record for penalty minutes (545), and 6 senior A-grade premierships (1997, '98, '99, '00, '11, '14).
He was club MVP 3 times (1994, '96, '11) and Most Consistent once (1998). In 1999 he was Best Team Player and Highest Points Scorer. He never won a Goodall Cup, but in 1995 he was selected to the Goodall Cup All Star team on a forward line with Tyler Lovering and Doug Stevenson. That year he was awarded the Alan Coleman Memorial Trophy, the Demon's Best Clubman Award. Former teammate Paul Rice says he is a "pocket rocket...a tenacious, intimidating and fearless player, an inspiration to his teammates. His ability to play the game above his stature made him a force to be reckoned with for many a year". He played exhibition games with the reformed Pirates in recent years and the Melbourne Mustangs in the AIHL in 2015 at age 42.
He first represented Australia in the National Senior Team in Lithuania in 1996 when he was 23 years-old, and again at Canillo in Andorra in 1997. He was easily the smallest player on the ice at 154 cm and 65 kg. National teammate, Con Dionissiou, described him "a true gritty and gifted hockey player". Roz Thewliss has said: "So glad Stuart returned to the ice. He was always a delight to watch and every word here is a wonderful summary of a brilliant, tenacious ice hockey player. From a young age everyone respected his skills and many were inspired to keep developing their own skills".
Ross Carpenter, 'Higgins, Stuart (1972 - )', Legends of Australian Ice, Melbourne, Australia, http://icelegendsaustralia.com/legends-2/bio_higgins.html, accessed online .
Special thanks to Paul Rice for Demons stats and comments.