Sunday, June 23, 2024

‘Zest for life’: Tributes paid to Timperley Masters player

The hockey family has come together to pay tribute to a Timperley player, with the club’s O45 side reaching the next round of the Cup in her honour.

Lenny (Eluned Smith) died last week from pneumonia. “Our love and thoughts go out to Lenny’s family, her beloved boys Cai and Elis and friends from across the hockey family,” the club said in a statement.

Lenny joined Timperley in 2018 and was at the heart of the club’s women’s Masters teams. She played her last match for Timperley earlier this month in the Over 45’s EH Championships victory, a 3-0 win over Telford. 

Club chair Shelagh Everett said: “Lenny was very much part of the O45’s recent EH Championships success and her smile lit up the whole of Lee Valley in May this year when Timperley lifted the Tier 1 trophy. 

“As well as success with Timperley, Lenny was much loved and made a real mark on all the Masters teams she played with across North West, North and of course her beloved Wales.

A minute’s applause took place before all women’s matches last Saturday, and before the women’s O45 match on Sunday where the match had the #PlayingForLenny hashtag.

The match saw Timperley beat Harrogate 7-1 as they reached the next round of the Cup in honour of their late team-mate. “Your kindness, freshly baked cinnamon rolls and Harrogate gin made a very difficult day more memorable,” Léonnie Molloy said of the opposition.

According to Lenny’s team-mates, Lou Hutchinson and Sarah Impey, Lenny took a toaster to every hotel room she visited so she could have her favourite cinnamon bagels for breakfast. “How we never burned down a hotel is still a mystery!” they said in a tribute. 

“It is impossible to think that vibrant, vivacious Lenny is gone and will never grace the pitch with us again,” they added. 

“She had such a zest for life, the kindest heart and passion for all that she did. An all-action warrior of teammate, she was a huge part of the Timperley masters teams and it seems fitting that she hammered in the final goal in her final game for the O45s two weeks ago. She was definitely someone you would rather play with than against!

“Lenny was fiercely passionate to be Welsh and loved playing for her country. She also enjoyed representing the North, though steadfastly refused to call it the North of England! She was an inspirational and supportive teammate at club, regional and national level, and all the teams she represented will be worse off without her.

“Lenny lived for her family and was a devoted mum to her two precious boys. Though she is gone, she will live on in Cai & Elis forever and they can be so proud that she was their mum.

“Lenny, you have given us so many memories. Your crazy hair, your massive smile and your love of a selfie. Your passion for the game, your washboard six pack and oh, those protein balls. Rest in peace Lenny, you will be missed more than you know.”

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