West country stalwart Stuart Lodge takes us on his joyful journey in the sport, from goalkeeping to umpiring
You know when it’s over when in post-match teas once at the University of Nottingham, I was lecturing the women’s team on the ‘Golden Era’ of hockey. I told them that in the 70s and 80s, England and Great Britain couldn’t even qualify for major events like the Olympics and World Cups. And when GB nailed bronze at the 1984 Olympics, they hadn’t even qualified. It was here that a young lady called Izzy Dodds perked up and said, “Stuart, I know all about that ‘cos my dad was captain!” Naturally, her father’s first name is Richard.
I’m best remembered as goalkeeper for Bath Buccaneers – now Team Bath Buccaneers – in the 1980s. But my genesis was unlikely and laboured, 1970 saw me being asked to turn out for Bath HC’s 4th team for a fixture in Cardiff, which went surprisingly well.
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Read more in our My Life in Hockey series