BORN ABOUT 1929, he was one of those homegrown players who learned ice hockey from the Canadians imported by Jimmy Bendrodt's ill-fated scheme to promote the game here just before the war. A player with Wests in the New South Wales league, he was the youngest member of the NSW State team in 1946 and later became a player and coach with the Eastern Suburbs and the Monarchs. Well-known Bondi sports masseur, Charlie Saunders, knew athletes and he considered him good enough to make any team in Canada and the United States. In 1949 he was captain of Bondi against Manly Wildcats led by Sid Green in the first ice hockey match ever played at the Manly Dungowan rink.
He won Goodall Cups in the 1946 tie, 1948 and 1950. He scored the only goal on a breakaway in his State's 1-3 defeat in that memorable 1947 game in which Victoria won back the Cup after 25 years in the wilderness. Well-known Melbourne sports commentator and journalist, Ron Casey MBE, selected him at second line centre for the 1948 All-Australian team, the first of its kind for ice hockey published by Sports Novels magazine. "Thorne's usual position is left wing, but with his height and marvellous poke check why couldn't he be made into the ideal craftsman — the necessity for a centre man? Thorne has been chosen over Ray Sullivan of Victoria because of his judgement in front of net and because of a better backhand drive". The leading goal scorer of the NSW league in 1950, he played the 2-match series against the HMCS Ontario Team in April 1951 and also represented Australia later that year against a team of "New Australians", winning 3-1.
He was among the country's top speed skaters during the era his State produced the British champion and Australia's first Winter Olympian. He was the quarter- and half-mile NSW champion on-and-off from 1946, and one of several ice hockey players who made a name for themselves on stage when touring international ice shows were popular during the early-1950s. In Hot Ice he did a slapstick routine with Jimmie Elder (Fife Flyers), Jacques Cartaux and Fred Taylor touring Brisbane, Adelaide and Sydney in 1953, and with state ice hockey players Jim Lawrence and Graham Argue of Victoria on the Melbourne leg in 1954. A month later he led a skating comedy routine in Rose Marie On Ice in Adelaide and Melbourne, and Spice on Ice at the Tivoli in Sydney in 1956. He has been a Life Member of the national association since 2008 and he was still to be found sharpening skates in a Sydney rink in 2016.
Ross Carpenter, 'Thorne, Geoff (abt 1929 - )', Legends of Australian Ice, Melbourne, Australia, http://icelegendsaustralia.com/bio_thorne.html, accessed online .
All-Australian Ice Hockey Team Chosen by Ron Casey, Sports Novels magazine, July 1948.
They're Tougher Than You Think, by Stan Gray, Sporting Globe, Melbourne 31 July 1954, p 9.