Over three and a half hours they filed onto the ice where Adam Johnson once played.
More than 2,500 supporters from different ice hockey teams queued into the arena that the Nottingham Panthers call home.
Johnson died in a "freak accident" last Saturday after his neck was slashed by a skate.
Some mourners laid flowers outside before making their way onto the rink.
A Manchester Storm fan told me it "just felt right to travel down".
He fought back tears in the torrential rain and explained: "There's a strange concept in ice hockey known as the 'hockey family' - this could have happened to any guy on any team.
"It happened so quickly, it's really difficult to try and comprehend - it's about everything changing in a blink of an eye.
"It's brought all the UK hockey teams together."
As fireworks cracked and whizzed outside, inside a huge screen played a video tribute to the no 47, who had only recently joined the Midlands team.
There were images of the forward in action on the ice, chatting to fellow players, and having fun.
Underneath was a large black and white photograph of the American, with the words: Adam Johnson 1994-2023. He was just 29 years old.
It was quiet as music played. People took time to write messages in books of condolence and paused for a minute's silence at 8.20pm - the time of his death a week ago. Some sat in the stands for a moment of reflection.
A Panthers fan told me she had cried all day when she heard the news. "The team is such a young team and it's a lot for them to take on," she said.
"All I can say is all my love goes out to them."
Another Nottingham fan told me that "losing part of a club is not an easy thing, losing a human being is not an easy thing".
They added: "The ice hockey family in England and around the world is a strong one, we're all here together for him - we can only hope that from this tragedy lessons are learnt."