Thursday, February 22, 2024

Tributes paid to Geoff Poole: Neston, GB and Wales hockey international

Tributes have been paid to Geoff Poole, who played for Great Britain and was an integral part of Neston HC in Cheshire, after the club announced he had passed away.

Poole was a past president of The Neston Club and captain of Neston 1s. The Wirral club reached seven successive Cheshire Cup finals, winning a record six, and the most under the captaincy of ex Great Britain player Poole.

In 1979 they were the first northern club to reach the HA Cup Final under Poole’s leadership. In the late 70’s Neston contained England players Robbie Smith and Mal Wilkinson, plus Colin Cubley, Pete Renshaw, Phil McKeown and Julian Manchett.

According to the club, he helped set up the Neston hockey section in 1963 and later the junior section. 

He played eight times for Great Britain and was vice captain of the Australia tour in 1966. He also played for Wales 31 times and captained the Welsh side.

Mike Hughes, the former Old Georgians coach, said: “Sad times. He was a great man and played a huge part in mine and many other Badgers lives at Neston HC. My love and condolences go out to his family. A true gent and a hockey legend.”

In 2021, The Hockey Museum hosted an event for the GB men’s squad that toured Australia in 1966.

For the squad of originally 18 players, it was the reunion of a tightly knit group who had been held together over the past half century by their captain, the late David Prosser. 

Geoff Poole, front middle, and the GB 1966 caps presentation PIC: Hockey Museum

The occasion served as an opportunity to present GB honours caps to the squad, 12 of whom were able to attend 55 years on. 

The cap presentations at the museum were fittingly made by Prosser’s widow Amanda, followed by the drinking of a toast to his memory. This completed the achievement of the presentation of caps to all 18 squad members (albeit one to family) who toured Australia.

Read more tributes in our obituaries section

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