Tributes have been paid in Yorkshire to hockey stalwart Ross Anderson, a long-serving player and umpire who attended over 50 consecutive Easter festivals.
Ross had attended 52 successive Blackpool Easter Festivals before Covid struck – only festival president George Robson has attended more.
Born in Wolverhampton in 1951, Ross was educated in York at Archbishop Holgate School, before studying accountancy in Newcastle.
As a player, ‘Roscoe’ started with York Trojans HC, now called City of York HC. Being a competent club level player, who scored the odd goal when allowed to venture forward, Ross took up the whistle to help out the club and to try and reach a higher level than he had played at.
In later years he became an umpire coach and assessor. In addition, to acting as treasurer for YHUA for many years.
The Yorkshire Hockey Umpires’ Association said: “Ross graduated from the ranks of players to become a neutral umpire for over 30 years where his style was always laid back and ready to diffuse any potential conflict or flare up with a quiet, usually humorous word.”
In a tribute, Peter MacLellan said: “Ross only ever wanted one thing out of hockey .. that was that people enjoyed themselves and had fun.
“His cheery face at the side of the pitch, around Yorkshire and the North East will be a big miss.
“Ross was never in it for the glory and was suitably embarrassed and humbled when he was honoured by Blackpool Hockey Festival in 2017.”
At the traditional Sunday Umpires meal in 2017 all his colleagues donned his infamous flat cap and sported a moustache for the meal with Ross being greeted by a loud “I’ll see thee” as he entered the room.
MacLellan added: “Ross believed that Hockey was a social game and came from the old school that believed that what happened on the pitch stayed on the pitch and let’s get to the bar for a beer.”
A celebration of his life will take place at City of York HC this summer.