Monday, June 27, 2022

‘Oldest hockey club in world’ Teddington to hold 150th anniversary Victorian match

Teddington, who claim to be the oldest hockey club in the world alongside Blackheath, will hold a commemorative match in the spirit of 1871 to mark the club’s 150th anniversary.

Olympians and greats of the game will play on the royal grass of Bushy Park, with original hook-headed holly, willow sticks and full period dress.

The special weekend festival on June 18 and 19 is open to spectators and will include the historic mixed match in the birthplace of the modern game, followed by a commemorative tree planting on the site of the sport’s birth with local dignitaries and representatives from England Hockey.

The day is similar to Blackheath’s 150th anniversary in 2012, the club holding a Victorian-themed hockey match on the site of the original club, on Blackheath. The club believe that it is the oldest hockey club in the world, although research by The Hockey Museum disputes this claim and say that Teddington has rightful claim to the accolade.

Following the Teddington grass match, an exhibition match will then take place between an Invitational Select XI vs Teddington Men’s 1994/95 National League winning team at the club’s current home at Teddington School on Broom Road.

Guest players will include 1988 Seoul captain, Richard Dodds, and his team-mate Kulbir Singh Bhaura, alongside current Teddington men’s and women’s 1s players.

Parliament played Blackheath in a game played under the 1861 rules to mark the 150th anniversary in 2012

Calum Giles, who achieved 143 caps for England and GB with 110 goals enabling him to hold the highest scorer record for over 14 years, will be joined by other Olympians including Teddington Hockey Club’s Performance Director Matt Daly as well as Brett Garrard, Jimmy Wallis, Alastair Wilson and Danny Haydon who between them represented GB across Olympics through the 1990s and up to London 2012.

Club captain, Clare Freer, said: “Celebrating 150 years as an amateur sports club is a very significant feat no matter where you are in the world or which sport you play. Teddington Hockey Club has survived two world wars and successfully seen its way through major challenges to the sport’s delivery.

“The transition from grass to Astroturf sadly saw many clubs lost across the country when they struggled to find appropriate pitches near their existing clubhouses. And of course, in more recent times, we have managed to steer ourselves through a global pandemic and come back stronger.

“We have a truly amazing history as a club, but I also know that with the help of so many wonderful volunteers and sports lovers in our community we will be around to be enjoyed for many more future generations.”

The club will stage a dinner at Kempton Park with special guests from the sport on June 18.

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