EuroHockey Special

The email came through from the city of Brussels on Marc Coudron’s phone shortly after Belgium’s first world title victory in Bhubaneswar. Officials were keen on staging a trophy presentation the day the team landed back in Belgium. Coudron, president of Hockey Belgium, was still emotional, yet a sense of realisation struck the former Red Lion.

“I thought ‘we’re not football, Eddy Merckx or Justine Henin, we are just hockey!” Coudron says of previous sporting presentations at the city’s famous Grand Place. “I thought it would be a disaster and no one would be there. But they said they would do it and it would be wonderful.”


The stage for what was to come had been set on the Monday evening, with Belgium’s lead channel devoting one hour to hockey. The players arrived back at Brussels airport at 6:30am the following morning where family and friends were reunited for an emotional hour, most notably for Simon Gougnard, whose father had passed away during the tournament.


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The Hockey Paper's Editor. First covered international hockey at the 2010 Commonwealth Games - no better than a full house watching India play England - and has reported for the Daily Telegraph and other major newspapers ever since. Co-founded THP in 2016.


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