Blasts From The Past

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Following the Platinum Jubilee last weekend to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s record breaking 70-year reign, we look back on what is arguably her most iconic hockey moment: the visit to Wembley Stadium in 1981.

The Queen made an appearance at the England vs Wales women’s international match at Wembley, much to the delight of the crowd of 62,000 schoolgirls eager to catch a glimpse of Her Majesty. There was a lunch before the match that was attended by many former players and officials. Before meeting the players, the Queen toured the stadium in an open-top Range Rover alongside All England Women’s Hockey Association (AEWHA) President Mary Russell Vick and Welsh Women's Hockey Association President Ceri O’Donnell. An exciting moment for them both and a wonderful way to acknowledge the sport of hockey, its players and fans.

 

1981 queen tour      1981 Wembley Maggie Souyave introduces Jan Bartlett to the Queen image credit The Hockey Museum
     
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II attends during the England vs Wales
women's international hockey match at Wembley Stadium in 1981.

 

Memories of the Queen’s Visit to Wembley Stadium

Pat Ward, former Editor of Hockey Field magazine, recalled how her interest in photography led to an exciting opportunity to photograph the Queen at Wembley Stadium – a memory that has had a lasting impact on her life and career.

Our interview with Pat Ward, which can be found among our oral histories on THM’s website, reveals her fond memories of this day and the nerves she felt from the pressure of the job and of being in the presence of the Queen. The atmosphere was magical. The crowd sang the National Anthem at the end of the match, much to the delight and surprise of Her Majesty, who later mentioned how she felt extremely touched by the love shown to her.

 

Mary RV and Queen Elizabeth II
 

All England Women's Hockey Association (AEWHA) President, Mary Russell Vick with the Queen at Wembley.

Photographs from the Pat Ward collection held at The Hockey Museum.

 

Oral History Interview: Patricia (Pat) Ward | The Hockey Museum

Maggie Souyave, England captain on the day the Queen attended: Oral History Interview: Margaret (Maggie) Souyave | The Hockey Museum

 

In The Hockey Museum’s self-published book, The Magic of Wembley, Christabel Russell Vick (daughter of AEWHA President Mary) recalls how “the thrill of singing God Save the Queen when you can see the Queen was very special. A once-in-a-lifetime memory.” She also remembers her mother coming back from a meeting in late 1980 where she declared, “I have not yet had a refusal from Her Majesty, and I am getting worried that she is going to accept!” As Patron the Queen was invited to Wembley every year.

 

Patron 19 Nov 1979      Approval of Programme 28 Jan 1981
     

Left: A letter from Buckingham Palace confirming the Queen's patrongage of the AEWHA (dated 19 November 1979).
Right: A letter from Sandringham approving the programme for the day the Queen was to visit Wembley (dated 28 January 1981).

From the Mary Russell Vick collection held at The Hockey Museum.

 

Despite the upheaval that the visit caused (such as Wembley Stadium having to re-paint the banqueting hall as the Queen was coming to lunch) the Royal visit provided a very memorable day for every attendee. Katie Dodd who played in the match remembers the excitement of meeting the Queen and recalled that the team probably spent more time practising curtsies than short corners!

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s reign has touched many people, but for hockey players past and present, this moment was a defining point in the history of hockey which, considering the size of the Wembley crowd and the age of our Monarch, is unlikely to be matched on such a scale ever again.

 

Thank you latter from Buckingham Palace page 1 23 March 1981      Thank you letter from Buckingham Palace page 2 23 March 1981
     

The thank you letter to Mary Russell Vick sent from Buckingham Palace on behalf of the Queen (dated 23 March 1981).

From the Mary Russell Vick collection held at The Hockey Museum.

 

Purchase The Magic of Wembley Book

Discover the inspirational history of the England women’s annual hockey match at Wembley Stadium between 1951-1991. Purchase The Magic of Wembley for only £10 plus postage (UK £3.00, Europe £7.00, rest of the world £9.00). Payment via PayPal using the email address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or send a cheque. Please use our website contact form (select “THM Shop”) for further details: Contact Us | The Hockey Museum

 

"Incredible original photography and images alongside extracts from programmes, accounts from players and spectators make this a very special trip down memory lane. For any fan of hockey, Wembley or women's sport, this is a book that simply must be read."

– Sally Munday, former Chief Executive, England Hockey

 

For over forty years, the national stadium hosted the annual women's hockey international. It was a sporting event quite unlike any other: from the austere 1950s, with the players in thick skirts and heavy blouses and a St Trinians army of girls on the terraces in full school uniform, through the pop culture of the 1960s and '70s, when the players' skirts got shorter and the girls also sported allegiance to Marc Bolan and Donny Osmond – the hot popstars of the time.

It was a cauldron of unforgettable, good-natured screaming loyalty, delivered in that combinaion of high-frequency and ferocious volume which only be produced by 60,000 schoolgirls.

The book shares personal memories from players, umpires and spectators to help give a sense of how special these days were. As social history mixes with nostalgia for a bygone era, see how things changed over the four decades in which the matches were played – the rules, the kit, the sticks – and the wonderful songs shared in the community singing before the match.

 

MoW A1 poster PRESS single 1

Joyce Hatton Vera Cox and Frances Heron Maxwell colourised
 

Joyce Hatton, Vera Cox (wearing her AEWHA blazer) and Frances Heron-Maxwell.
This photograph was colourised for Frances Thompson's talk at The Hockey Museum.

 

Last Wednesday 4 May, Frances Thompson travelled from Australia to The Hockey Museum (THM) for a rather personal research visit, and we asked her to give a talk.

Frances presented on the work she has been doing to piece together the fascinating life of her great grand aunt, Vera Cox. Vera played for Atalanta HC, Kent, the East and then England between 1908 and 1912, captaining the team in 1912. Her international hockey career was brought to an early conclusion following a knee injury sustained in the 1912 fixture against Ireland but she continued to play club hockey and went on to coach, select players for representative honours and umpire. Vera umpired at international level until the early 1930s. She was also involved in hockey administration and then in support of her friend, Frances Heron Maxwell the early feminist and suffragette, went on to be one of the driving forces behind the setting up of the England Women’s Cricket Association and the development of international women’s cricket.

To find out more about Mrs Frances Heron Maxwell, click on the following link: Feminist Icon Frances Heron-Maxwell | GreatBritishLife.co.uk

 

 

England women c1910
 
England women's hockey team c.1910. Vera Cox is seated middle row far right.

 

Frances’ talk gave a fascinating insight not only into Vera’s many early achievements but also Vera the person – one of ten siblings who wrote constantly to each other. These letters still exist and are held in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. Frances has been researching them and the talk covered the period up until the beginning of World War 1.

Hockey Shorts will cover details from the talk including a video of the presentation itself in a later edition. Meanwhile, you can listen to Frances's podcast 100 Years of Cox; series 3, episode 17 uncovers Vera's hockey life through her letters.

 

Subscribe to the Mailing List | hockeymuseum.net

100 Years of Cox S3E17: Vera - The Joys of Hockey | Apple Podcasts

 

Prior to her talk, Frances Thompson spent the day at THM in Woking pouring over copies of Hockey Field magazine and other items that our Archivist Marcus Wardle had unearthed in our collections management database. Among these were four large scrapbooks containing photographs, programmes and other memorabilia relating to Kent and England women’s hockey from the early 1900s. While we knew we had these books, our records revealed nothing about how they came to be created or by whom. Amazingly, as soon as Frances looked at them, she recognised the handwriting as Vera’s – having read so many of her letters, the style was so distinctive! These four scrapbooks have now been identified as Vera’s record of her hockey career from 1906 through to 1912 – such an amazing find for all of us. Frances was thrilled. As Mike Smith, THM’s Hon. Curator reflected later, discovering the link between the scrapbooks and Vera is what makes all the work at THM worthwhile – positioning more pieces in the jigsaw puzzle of hockey’s heritage to create a better image of our sport’s fascinating past.

 

Vera Cox scrapbook 1911
 
One of the four scrapbooks from the Pat Ward collection held at The Hockey Museum in Woking, now identified as having been created by Vera Cox.

A total of 581 players (men and women) have represented Great Britain (GB) over the years. Many of these players have enjoyed illustrious international careers with seven men and 13 women having exceeded 100 appearances – yet this piece is about those players who only made one single appearance.

To achieve international player status takes a huge amount of physical and mental hard work and dedication. To become a GB international normally means progression through their ‘Home Country’ national team, so it is fair to assume that the players would be quite well known to the selectors by the time they reached consideration for GB. Selection by a panel of appointed ‘selectors’ was the traditional method of choosing players for county, regional and international duty during much of the twentieth century. This familiarity might imply that players could expect at least a few games to show their mettle.

Each case will be slightly different, but through our statistical research The Hockey Museum (THM) has discovered that 35 men and 18 women have played representative hockey for GB just once. It would be fair to assume that most of these 53 individuals would be a little disappointed at only being selected once. However, there is one concrete exception!

 

The GB & Ireland tour to South Africa and Kenya, 1951

In 1951 a GB & Ireland team visited South Africa for a Five Test Series. They flew home via Nairobi in Kenya having accepted an invitation to play one match against Kenya (& East Africa). The very enjoyable South Africa tour was also very gruelling. By the time the party reach Nairobi they were somewhat depleted. This was aggravated by a couple of players returning home separately meaning that when they reached Nairobi, GB were struggling to find 11 fit players – in 1951 there was no such thing as substitutes, so, if they could scrape them together, 11 would be sufficient. Significantly, GB only had four forwards and no centre forward. These were the days of ‘positional hockey’ rather than the fluid systems employed today.

 

Cartoon 1951 GB tour of South Africa
 

 A cartoon commenting on the GB & Ireland team tour to South Africa in 1951.

It proved to be a gruelling trip with many players having picked up injuries by the time
the team arrived in Nairobi to play Kenya on their journey home.

 

It transpired that a young Brit had recently moved to Nairobi; a very competent hockey player called Peter Johnson. He was a recent Cambridge University ‘Blue’ in an era when many Oxford University and Cambridge University ‘Blues’ progressed rapidly into international hockey. Peter had played in the Varsity matches of 1946, 1947 and 1951 – a rare and lengthy span which must confirm his competence as a hockey player. On 20 September 1951, Peter was called upon to play for GB in a narrow 3-2 loss for the visitors at Nairobi’s City Park Stadium. In doing so he earned his one and only international cap, albeit in very unusual circumstances.

We can be certain that Peter Johnson would have been delighted to have played in just one international match, unlike many other one-cap internationals who might have hoped for more appearances.

 

GB Ireland team cloth badge 1951
 

Great Britain & Ireland team cloth blazer badge from the 1951 South Africa tour,
previously owned by goalkeeper Sir Derek Day.

Peter Johnson would not have owned one of these badges as he wasn't part of the original
touring team. However, we may still be able to present him with a GB honours cap.

 

Can You Help?

We have no further information on Peter Johnson. If he is still alive he would be nearly 100 years old, but he or his family are entitled to received his GB honours cap. We would very much like to make this presentation, so unique is Peter’s story.

Please help with any contact details for Peter or his family. Contact The Hockey Museum using the website contact form: Contact Us (hockeymuseum.net)

The Hockey Museum recently received a 42-year-old document that has a particular resonance with contemporary events that are consuming the world’s media today.

The document in question is a copy of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s letter of 19 February 1980 to Sir Denis Follows, CBE, Chairman of the British Olympic Association. The letter on 10 Downing Street headed notepaper was a response to the British Olympic Association’s wish that the Moscow Olympic Games be moved away from Russia because of the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan in December 1978. Prime Minister Thatcher’s response was to advise British athletes to boycott the Moscow Olympic Games. She requested that the British Olympic Association should “accept the advice of the Government in this matter and reflect it in [their] response to the invitation of the Moscow Organising Committee to take part in the Games in Moscow”.1

The Prime Minister (PM), in tones that are eerily familiar today, observed that the “Soviet invasion of Afghanistan on a flimsy pretext and its continued military occupation of a sovereign country violates all the principles governing relations between states and peoples”. This commentary could apply equally to the situation in Ukraine today. The PM later stated that “for British athletes to take part in games this summer would be for them to seem to condone an international crime”.2

 

Prime Minister letter Moscow 1980 Olympics 1
 

 Extract of the letter from Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on 10 Downing Street headed paper.

Correspondence from The Hockey Museum's archives.

 

The Thatcher Government embarked on a press campaign to support the boycott of the 22nd Olympiad. Bernard Levin in The Times commented that “our athletes might win medals in Moscow, but they would be tarnished badges of shame”. Subsequently the Government prohibited civil servants and serving members of the military to take leave to attend the Olympic Games.3 There are parallels in the Western nations’ boycott of the Moscow Games in 1980 and today’s economic sanctions being levied on Russian businesses and individuals linked to Vladimir Putin’s regime. Similar pressures have been applied by governments to Western businesses to boycott Russia now, as were applied to the British Hockey Boards 42 years ago.

This governmental pressure led to the Great Britain Hockey Board (men) and the Women’s Hockey Board of Great Britain and Ireland voting to withdraw from the Moscow Games on 22 March 1980. Both groups had met independently prior. Roger Self, Manager of Great Britain (GB) men, spoke to the Hockey Association (England) meeting the previous day and confirmed that the “entire [men’s] squad under present political circumstances prevailing wanted to go to Moscow”. The players saw the decision to be a “political one and not in the interests of the game”.4 This stance pitted the men’s players against their governing body which voted 25-6 to boycott the games despite the players’ strong desire to participate.

Despite trenchant opposition, the boycott went ahead and hockey, along with yachting and the equestrian team, were the only British sports wholly absent from Moscow – other sports sent depleted teams.

The British men had missed out on qualification for the Montreal Games in 1976, so the Moscow boycott meant a whole generation missed the opportunity to play Olympic hockey. The Soviet Union’s aggression also deprived the GB women of the prestige of taking part in the inaugural women’s Olympic hockey tournament. Despite men’s hockey having been an Olympic sport almost without exception since 1908, women’s Olympic hockey had been forced to wait 72 years for admittance and, like the men, many elite players lost the chance to compete at an Olympic Games.

 

The Olympic Hockey Tournaments, Moscow 1980

 

Moscow 1980 Olympic Games poster low res
 

Official poster from the Moscow Olympic Games of 1980, featuring Games mascot Misha.

Poster from The Hockey Museum's collection.

 

The inaugural women’s Olympic hockey tournament was subsequently a depleted affair with most of the Western nations boycotting alongside Great Britain. It was played on a round-robin basis and in a spectacular result was won by Zimbabwe. Czechoslovakia and Soviet Union took the silver and bronze medals respectively. The sole group for the women’s tournament also included India, Austria and Poland.

 

Zimbabwe Golden Girls 1980 c Wikipedia RIA Novosti
 

Zimbabwe women's hockey team celebrate their unexpected gold medal at the Moscow Olympic Games, 1980.

© Wikipedia RIA Novosti.

Zimbabwe's first Olympic gold and the forgotten hockey fairytale of 1980 | insidethegames.biz

 

The original format of the women’s tournament (as would have been before teams boycotted) is not known, but initially GB men were selected in Group A along with Argentina, India, Kenya, Netherlands and Pakistan. After multiple countries pulled out, the men’s tournament comprised of six nations – Spain, India, Soviet Union, Poland, Cuba and Tanzania. Spain topped the round-robin tournament only to lose 4-3 to India in the Gold Medal match. Spain’s Juan Amat, competing in his fourth Olympic Games and the tournament’s top scorer with 16 goals (8 goals in an 11-0 demolition of Cuba), scored a hattrick in a losing effort.

 

Moscow 1980 ticket
 
 Ticket to the Olympic hockey tournament at the Dynamo Minor Arena, Moscow, 1980.

 

Despite the heroics of the competing nations, in Britain the Olympic hockey tournaments in Moscow will for ever be remembered for who was not there, and why.

Whilst the public support for a sporting boycott of Russia because of the Ukraine crisis remains strong and more importantly, both appropriate and proportionate, the hockey boycott of the Moscow Olympic Games by the GB women and men’s teams remains a painful and, for many, a contentious issue 42 years on.

 

Ian G Jenkins, March 2022

 

NB. The research undertaken by Ian for this article unearthed considerable further material. Subsequently, Ian recognises the need for a more detailed study, including a thorough exploration of The Hockey Museum archives but also interviews with those involved or impacted by the Moscow 1980 Olympic boycott. If you have information or consider yourself a potential person of interest to Ian’s ongoing research, please contact The Hockey Museum: Contact Us (hockeymuseum.net)

 

Footnotes

  1. Letter from Margaret Thatcher to Dennis Follows, 19 February 1980 (The Hockey Museum Archives).
  2. Ibid.
  3. Riordan, J. Great Britain and the 1980 Olympics. Sports Relations and International Understanding (1982) pp 144-158 Vol 5 No 2.
  4. Hockey Digest, Summer 1980. pp 5-7.

 

Oral Histories Referencing The Boycott Of The Moscow 1980 Olympic Games

The following oral history interviews available on The Hockey Museum website offer insight into the personal experiences of players, coaches and umpires in relation to the 1980 Olympic hockey boycott. You can search "Moscow" within each oral history and jump to the relevant point in each interview. Alternatively, listen to them in their entirety.


 

1896 England women vs Ireland first England international match
 

The first England women's hockey team (1896).
Mary D’Oyley is seated middle row, right of centre next to the lady holding the ball. Mary has her cap on her stick.

 

When England’s Mary D’Oyley (nee Piper) lined up against Ireland at Alexandra College, Dublin, on 2 March 1896, she made history in more ways than one.

Not only was the East Molesey centre-forward participating in the first ever women’s hockey international, but she was also the first married woman – and the first mother – to represent her country at the sport.

The Norwich-born player had married civil service clerk Arthur Frederick D’Oyley in August 1891, and the couple welcomed their first child – Charles Tristan – in July 1892.

Master D’Oyley would, therefore, have been a few months short of his fourth birthday when his mum – aged 33 – made the trip across the Irish Sea to take part in the historic match. She was unable to get on the scoresheet, however, as Ireland won 2-0.

It would be Mary D’Oyley’s only international appearance, and her second son, Paul Arthur Austin, was born in January 1900.

She wasn’t the only member of her family involved with English hockey, however.

Mary’s younger brothers Charles and Arthur played for East Molesey, and Charles represented the club at the 1886 meeting that led to the formation of the men’s Hockey Association (HA). In 1895, he was on the HA committee that turned down a request for affiliation from the All England Women’s Hockey Association! But that’s another story…

 

Jo Halpin

Follow Dr Jo Halpin on Twitter (click: Jo Halpin (@JoHalpin) / Twitter) or reach her through THM's website contact form: Contact Us (hockeymuseum.net)

 

Indian political party crop
 
Punjab Lok Congress Party symbol

 

The image shown above is being used by a political party as its logo (see here). This may seem a rather strange adoption, yet it has occurred in the Punjab in Northern India. Not only is hockey the national sport of India but the Punjab is undoubtedly the spiritual home of Indian hockey. It could be argued that it is very appropriate for a hockey symbol to be adopted in a sports-mad place like the Punjab.

Apart from the sport of hockey, the city of Jalandhar in the Punjab is the home of the Indian sports industry which has been responsible for producing much of the world’s hockey equipment for the past seventy years. The actual introduction of hockey to the Indian Sub-Continent and the birth of the manufacturing industry is the subject of another and much longer story that goes back to the days of the Raj.

However, your writer, The Hockey Museum’s (THM) Curator Mike Smith, has a story to tell about the predominance of hockey in the Punjab. He was a frequent visitor to India over four decades and when his younger son wanted a ‘gap year experience’ where better than a visit to the welcoming, friendly Punjab and Jalandhar in particular. A few miles outside Jalandhar lies the rural village of Sansarpur – this really is the spiritual home of Indian hockey. It is a fact, which we are confident cannot be contradicted, that more Olympic and World Cup hockey medalists have come from this village than any other town on the planet. The basic but strong playing facilities nurtured India’s greatest players through the twentieth century. They have a very cosy clubhouse within which are proudly shown all the great hockey players who are the sons of Sansarpur. It is one of those rare places that makes the hairs on the back of one’s neck stand up!

Through time-honoured friendships, our Curator’s son and his travelling companion were invited to daily practice and training at Sansarpur – what an amazing privilege. The ‘travelling companion’ was the Curator’s godson, the son of THM co-founder David Wareham. It is not surprising that the fathers decided to visit India to coincide with the end of their sons’ gap year visit. The highlight was undoubtedly for the fathers to umpire a game on the pitch at Sansarpur, contested by teams which included both boys and watched by the bemedaled sons of Sansarpur. Money cannot buy unique occasions like that.

Hignett Bros Co 1924 England       Hignett Bros Co 1924 Ireland

 

The ongoing series of Great Britain (GB) honours cap presentations to current and former GB players is a direct outcome of THM’s Playing Statistics Project. These presentations are really a 'bolt on' to the stats project, perhaps triggered by THM's small collection of various historical hockey caps.

Our research has illustrated to us that, amazingly, hockey in England and GB has never officially nor consistently awarded caps to its international players beyond the very occasional landmark, e.g. for 200 international appearances. This is despite the custom of calling such appearances, caps!

 

Re player caps HA minute book 1903 cropped
 
 What does this extract from the Hockey Association minutes of 1903 tell
us about the awarding of honours caps to international players?

 

From the early minute books of the Hockey Association (HA), it was clear that there was no appetite to reward or physically recognise its players. This presumably was part of the very strong 'amateur' ethic of those early years. We will be exploring ‘amateurism’ in future articles.

At a meeting of the HA on the 24 September 1903 a proposal was put forward "by Mr Tebbott that some gold or other badge should be given to international players, but as no-one seconded the proposition it was withdrawn".

Five years later, at an HA Council meeting held at the Royal Station Hotel in Bath on 7 March 1908, "a proposal by Mr Trestall that caps should be given to any player who represented England was also not seconded and so was withdrawn". 

In 1924 a set of cigarette cards was produced by Hignett Bros & Co. of “International Caps and Badges” as part of a sporting series (pictured). The Welsh and Irish cards incorporate cap imagery, and we are aware of the existence of caps for these nations from this era – we have a Welsh one in the THM collection (click here to discover more). However, the English and Scottish cards depict only cloth badges, which concurs with our belief that neither English national association (men or women) has ever presented honours caps to its players for any consistent period of time … unless you know differently?!

So, THM's current project to present GB caps, which will be followed in 2023 by the presentation of England caps, is the first time that honours caps are being made available to all our international players.

 

Hignett Bros Co 1924 Wales       Hignett Bros Co 1924 Scotland
Hockey magazine 1893 cover      Hockey magazine 1893 inside cover
     
"Hockey" magazine, 15 December 1893 – the first magazine for hockey?

 

The Hockey Museum (THM) has over 80,000 items in its growing collection. We receive another two collections most weeks. These are sorted and catalogued by our brilliant volunteers and occasionally we come up with a gold nugget.

Recently we discovered four copies of a hockey magazine that we were previously unaware of – the oldest hockey magazine ever published, pushing the date back to 1893, twenty years after the very first stirrings of hockey at Teddington in 1871.

Hockey magazine ran for 33 editions from 1893 to 1895, although sadly we only have four copies. Happily, these include the historically important issue number 1, which is illustrated above. We will find lots of information and stories from these four copies but imagine what we might learn if we could obtain all 33 editions.

Our experience tells us that there will almost certainly be copies of this magazine out there with collectors and enthusiasts. We would love to obtain any copies that we can, but the ability to just copy/digitise would save the information. If you know of any copies, please contact us.

Prior to this discovery we believed that the first magazine (also called Hockey) was published in 1897, although the two publications appear to have no connections beyond inventive titles!

This latest discovery once again proves that our efforts to preserve the history and heritage of hockey is a never ending and fascinating journey. If you fancy joining us on this journey, even in a very small way, we would love to hear from you. Visit the contact page (click here) and select "Volunteering".

 

Jordi Aluma
 
Hockey, Olympic Suite No.2 by Jordi Alumà

 

The Hockey Museum (THM) holds in its art collection a limited-edition print of a female hockey player by Spanish artist Jordi Alumà (pictured). After a long and distinguished life, Alumà passed away earlier this year on 8 June 2021.

The print was donated to the museum in January 2014 by then International Hockey Federation (FIH) President Leandro Negre. The artwork is part of a series titled Olympic Suite No.2 which was commissioned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1984. Hockey is one of 20 different Olympic sports depicted within the suite.

 

Artist Biography

Jordi Alumà was born in 1924 in Barcelona and raised in an artistic home. His grandfather was a sculptor; his father, Josep Alumà, was a painter and poster artist of some renown, and his mother designed pieces of goldsmithery.

Aged 13, the young Alumà began his artistic studies in 1937 as an apprentice in the Propaganda Department of Cataluña during the Spanish Civil War. in 1941 he joined the craft workshops of the Salesian College papal order in Barcelona. There he studied altarpiece painting and quickly identified wood as his favourite artistic medium. Alumà painted on wood for most of his life, until he switched to Japanese paper following a trip to Japan in 2001. “[Japanese paper] is a wonderful thing that they have made by hand for centuries” he exclaimed. “I found [the] texture was similar to the surface of an altarpiece but without the thickness, which was ideal for working on.”

Alumà professed his admiration for Italian artists Piero della Francesca and Amedeo Modigliani. Fittingly given these influences, he described himself as “a passionate stylistic painter with a line between Cubism and Romanesque”. This neatly describes the figurative art style evident in Alumà’s internationally renowned work from the 1960s onwards where he moved away from religious themes. These works include suites of different Olympic disciplines for the IOC, such as the hockey player print in THM collection.

Click here to discover more art in THM collection.

Genna image British Museum
 
© The Trustees of the British Museum



How are Orthodox Christianity and sport linked within Ethiopian culture?

Created in the late 1940s by an Ethiopian priest, this watercolour painting from the British Museum’s collection depicts two teams of men playing the native stick-and-ball game Genna.

Traditionally played at Christmas, Genna uses curved wooden sticks to strike a wooden ball. According to Ethiopian legend, it was first played by shepherds in celebration of the birth of Jesus. Thereafter, this sport became associated with the Christmas season and religion.

The Christian connection is most obvious from the four angels the priest painted at the top of the painting looking down onto the men playing Genna. Originally part of a book of images, paintings like this one were later used as models for mural paintings.

There is a military connection too: it is painted on Italian military paper – likely a book of military papers – possibly a remnant of Italy’s occupation of East Africa during World War 2.

While this piece may not capture hockey in the modern sense of the game we know of today, its existence shows how religion and sport came together within Addis Ababa culture.

As we approach the quarterfinals (QF) of the Tokyo 2020 hockey tournament, we reflect on a momentous QF back in 1960: Kenya vs Great Britain (GB) at the Rome Olympic Games.

On 5 September 1960, the QF match in Rome became the longest match in the Olympic history (until this record was broken at Mexico 1968 Olympic Games). The match ended as a 1-1 draw at full time. Eight periods of extra time were played before Chris Saunders-Griffiths scored his second goal of the match for Great Britain in the 127th minute to put his team into the semi-finals.

The two nations met again in the group stage of the Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964. Six of Kenya’s team had played in the match in 1960: Avtar Sohal, Anthony Vaz, Surjeet Panesar, Silu Fernandes, Egbert Fernandes and Alu Mendonca. Harry Cahill, John Neill and Howard Davis of Great Britain had also played in the famous 1960 QF encounter.

Kenya extracted revenge for their 1960 loss winning 1-0 from a penalty corner. The goal was scored by their captain, Avtar Singh Sohal, in the 8th minute in a closely fought game.

The record set by the 1960 QF match was surpassed on 25 October 1968 by the Netherlands vs Spain 5th/6th place play-off in Mexico. Kirk Thole of Netherlands scored the only goal of the match in the 145th minute – 2 hours and 25mins of hockey!

Unsurprisingly, extra time rules were changed after the Mexico Olympic Games.

 

Italian Olympic Committee presentation from Rome 1960
 

A presentation made by the Italian Olympic Committee for the Rome 1960 Olympic Games.

Drawing on the founding myth of the city of Rome, the sculpture depicts Romulus and Remus
suckling on the teats of the female wolf who found and raised the abandoned twins.

Blasts From The Past: An Introduction

This features page includes articles from hockey's rich history. With the ever increasing activity of The Hockey Museum, our research is constantly coming across fascinating stories from throughout the sport's history and across the hockey world. These are not current news stories although some may have been when they occurred....

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Attends The Women's Hockey At Wembley Stadium in 1981

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Attends The Women's Hockey At Wembley Stadium in 1981

Following the Platinum Jubilee last weekend to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s record breaking 70-year reign, we look back on what is arguably her most iconic hockey moment: the visit to Wembley Stadium in 1981. The Queen made an appearance at the England vs Wales women’s international match at Wembley,...

Discovering Vera Cox's Missing Scrapbook

Discovering Vera Cox's Missing Scrapbook

  Joyce Hatton, Vera Cox (wearing her AEWHA blazer) and Frances Heron-Maxwell.This photograph was colourised for Frances Thompson's talk at The Hockey Museum.   Last Wednesday 4 May, Frances Thompson travelled from Australia to The Hockey Museum (THM) for a rather personal research visit, and we asked her to give...

Peter Johnson: The Great Britain Hockey Player With Only One Cap

Peter Johnson: The Great Britain Hockey Player With Only One Cap

A total of 581 players (men and women) have represented Great Britain (GB) over the years. Many of these players have enjoyed illustrious international careers with seven men and 13 women having exceeded 100 appearances – yet this piece is about those players who only made one single appearance. To...

Echoes Of The Moscow Olympic Hockey Boycott 42 Years Later

Echoes Of The Moscow Olympic Hockey Boycott 42 Years Later

The Hockey Museum recently received a 42-year-old document that has a particular resonance with contemporary events that are consuming the world’s media today. The document in question is a copy of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s letter of 19 February 1980 to Sir Denis Follows, CBE, Chairman of the British Olympic...

A Mother's Pride

A Mother's Pride

  The first England women's hockey team (1896).Mary D’Oyley is seated middle row, right of centre next to the lady holding the ball. Mary has her cap on her stick.   When England’s Mary D’Oyley (nee Piper) lined up against Ireland at Alexandra College, Dublin, on 2 March 1896, she...

Hockey: A Political Symbol In The Punjab

Hockey: A Political Symbol In The Punjab

    Punjab Lok Congress Party symbol   The image shown above is being used by a political party as its logo (see here). This may seem a rather strange adoption, yet it has occurred in the Punjab in Northern India. Not only is hockey the national sport of India...

The Evolution of Hockey Honours Caps

The Evolution of Hockey Honours Caps

        The ongoing series of Great Britain (GB) honours cap presentations to current and former GB players is a direct outcome of THM’s Playing Statistics Project. These presentations are really a 'bolt on' to the stats project, perhaps triggered by THM's small collection of various historical hockey...

The First Ever "Hockey" Magazine

The First Ever "Hockey" Magazine

           "Hockey" magazine, 15 December 1893 – the first magazine for hockey?   The Hockey Museum (THM) has over 80,000 items in its growing collection. We receive another two collections most weeks. These are sorted and catalogued by our brilliant volunteers and occasionally we come up...

Jordi Alumà: Hockey

Jordi Alumà: Hockey

    Hockey, Olympic Suite No.2 by Jordi Alumà   The Hockey Museum (THM) holds in its art collection a limited-edition print of a female hockey player by Spanish artist Jordi Alumà (pictured). After a long and distinguished life, Alumà passed away earlier this year on 8 June 2021. The...

How Great Thou Art: Religious Hockey-like Games in Ethiopia

How Great Thou Art: Religious Hockey-like Games in Ethiopia

  © The Trustees of the British Museum How are Orthodox Christianity and sport linked within Ethiopian culture? Created in the late 1940s by an Ethiopian priest, this watercolour painting from the British Museum’s collection depicts two teams of men playing the native stick-and-ball game Genna. Traditionally played at Christmas,...

The Longest Olympic Matches

The Longest Olympic Matches

As we approach the quarterfinals (QF) of the Tokyo 2020 hockey tournament, we reflect on a momentous QF back in 1960: Kenya vs Great Britain (GB) at the Rome Olympic Games. On 5 September 1960, the QF match in Rome became the longest match in the Olympic history (until this...

Tracing The Match Ball From The Australia And New Zealand Tour of 1914

Tracing The Match Ball From The Australia And New Zealand Tour of 1914

An archival document recording an All England Women’s Hockey Association (AEWHA) tour to Australia and New Zealand in 1914, leads The Hockey Museum (THM) Archivist on a journey of discovery to trace a very special match ball with an intriguing social history.       The match ball from Canterbury...

Louis Charles Baillon: The Only Falkland Islander Olympic Champion

Louis Charles Baillon: The Only Falkland Islander Olympic Champion

  The England hockey team from the 1908 Olympic Final. Louis Baillon is seated furthest left.   Louis Charles Baillon is the only Falkland islander to have won an Olympic gold medal. He achieved this feat as a member of the England hockey team that won gold at the 1908...

Alan Turing: WW2 hockey-playing hero features on £50 note

Alan Turing: WW2 hockey-playing hero features on £50 note

After the 2014 feature film The Imitation Game and other publicity most people are now aware of the amazing contribution made by Alan Turing and the remarkable team at Bletchley Park during World War 2. It is often said that their efforts helped the Allies to win the war and...

Christ’s Hospital's Jovial WW1 Charity Match

Christ’s Hospital's Jovial WW1 Charity Match

    These photographs tell the story of a convivial charity match involving Christ's Hospital school (CH) during World War One (WW1). They were unearthed by staff at Christ’s Hospital Museum and shared with The Hockey Museum.             Photographs of the hockey match fundraiser, 1917....

Kenya Hockey Olympians Conference

Kenya Hockey Olympians Conference

I was delighted and honoured to be invited as one of the Guests of Honour at a virtual conference for Kenyan hockey Olympians on Sunday 30 May 2021. The invitation was extended by Hilary Fernandes, Kenya’s triple Olympian, and Raphael Fernandes, a Kenyan Los Angeles 1984 Olympian. Raphael co-ordinated the...

The ‘Hockey Girl’ And The Pursuit of Love

The ‘Hockey Girl’ And The Pursuit of Love

  Cartoon from the Punch Almanack, 1903. The caption reads:"We had a scratch game with the 'Black and Blue' Club yesterday, but had an awful job to get any men. Enid's brother and a friend of his turned up at the last moment; but they didn't do much except call 'offside'...

A Biography of Janet Macklin (née Smallwood)

A Biography of Janet Macklin (née Smallwood)

When Janet Smallwood (later Mrs Macklin) was awarded her first international cap for Scotland in 1951 she was not the first member of her family to have an international sporting honour – her father, Alistair Smallwood, was selected to play for England Rugby in the 1920s. Alistair was born in...

The Festival of Britain’s Grand International Hockey Tournament 1951

The Festival of Britain’s Grand International Hockey Tournament 1951

    Cover of the programme for the Grand International Hockey Tournament during the Festival of Britain, 1951.Click the image to download the full programme as a PDF.Credit: the AEWHA Collection at the University of Bath Library.   Seventy years ago in May 1951, a very unusual sporting event was staged...

Harvey Wood: England’s Mysterious Giant Goalkeeper

Harvey Wood: England’s Mysterious Giant Goalkeeper

A recent piece of research on the 1908 Olympic Games together with a study on hockey in the East Riding of Yorkshire by museum volunteer researcher James Ormandy, has unearthed a mystery that spans both hockey and social history. James’s research on hockey in the East Riding has revealed an...

Bandy In Shakespeare

Bandy In Shakespeare

   Portrait of William Shakespeare, 1610. Possibly painted by John Taylor. There are several references to the word ‘bandy’ in the works of English playwright William Shakespeare, including one in Romeo and Juliet when Romeo, trying to stop a fight between Tybalt and Mercutio, declares: “The Prince expressly hath forbidden...

Hockey-Playing Thespians Of The Edwardian Era

Hockey-Playing Thespians Of The Edwardian Era

  Frank Benson, actor and hockey players, inWilliam Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. The Edwardian era would witness the peak of theatre going and its watershed moment as cinema arrived. It also witnessed a sporting boom – especially in hockey – and one club, Benson’s Hockey Club, had done...

It's A Date: Celebrating the First Scotland Women's International Match

It's A Date: Celebrating the First Scotland Women's International Match

By Katie Dodd      The first Scotland women's team, 1901. The 13 April 2001 is the 120th anniversary of Scotland women’s very first international match, played against Ireland in Dublin. I was first made aware of this special date during a conversation with Evlyn Raistrick, former Scottish and International...

Easter Festivals in Years Gone By

Easter Festivals in Years Gone By

Not that many years ago Easter festivals were the much-anticipated climax to the hockey season. Many hundreds of teams, certainly well into four figures, would travel to play in one of over fifty festivals that took place around Britain. The most popular venues were seaside ones, from Bournemouth to Bridlington...

An Amazing Find As The Hockey Museum Links Up With The British Museum

An Amazing Find As The Hockey Museum Links Up With The British Museum

It’s not often that small, independent museums like The Hockey Museum (THM) have an opportunity to change the narrative of national history, but today we share some very exciting news concerning a highly significant archaeological collection – the Anglo-Saxon burial ship at Sutton Hoo. Sutton Hoo gained a lot of...

Welsh Honours Caps: A Tale of Interrelated Research

Welsh Honours Caps: A Tale of Interrelated Research

By Elton Riches I was researching in The Hockey Museum (THM) library reviewing the early hockey periodicals for photographs or illustrations of player-issued caps. I located a black-and-white photograph in an 1898 publication showing the Welsh men’s hockey team wearing honours caps. Clear evidence that the Welsh national teams were...

Remembering Wembley

Remembering Wembley

On 3 March 2021 The Hockey Museum (THM) celebrated the 70th anniversary of the first England women’s hockey match at Wembley Stadium in 1951. In partnership with Talk Hockey Radio, we produced a podcast (The Special One - Epsiode 6) and video of the personal memories of Maggie Souyave, Anita White...

Wembley Was A Family Affair

Wembley Was A Family Affair

By Christabel Russell Vick I grew up knowing that the Wembley hockey international was the biggest fixture in the women’s hockey calendar. When I talked to my mother (Mary Russell Vick) about her hockey career, I was amazed to discover that these matches at the iconic Wembley Stadium were entirely...

The First Ever Women's International Hockey Match in 1896

The First Ever Women's International Hockey Match in 1896

   Action photo of Ireland vs England women, the first ever women's international hockey match in 1896.   2 March 2021 is the 125th anniversary of the first ever women’s international hockey match in 1896, between Ireland and England. Ireland beat England 2-0. The game took place on the Alexandra...

Unearthing Further Hockey Connections At Sutton Hoo

Unearthing Further Hockey Connections At Sutton Hoo

  Sutton Hoo excavation, 1939. Still from film made by Harold John Phillips.Public domain. In a recent article (click here) we covered the links that exist between the Netflix blockbuster film The Dig and our sport of hockey. Following that piece, we received news of a further hockey connection. If...

Digging Hockey: An Excavation of Edith Pretty's Links to Hockey

Digging Hockey: An Excavation of Edith Pretty's Links to Hockey

by Dr Jo Halpin.     Portrait of Edith Pretty by Dutch artist Cor Visser.© National Trust / Robin Pattinson   Edith Pretty is famous for unearthing an Anglo-Saxon burial ship on her land at Sutton Hoo, near Woodbridge, Suffolk, in 1939 – an event that has now been made...

In Search of The Hull & District Hockey Register

In 1900 there were just twenty clubs from the North affiliated to the Hockey Association (HA) causing some historians have been misled as to the game’s popularity outside of the home counties. In most northern towns and cities at this time hockey playing was increasingly popular. For example: in Hull...

Never Defeated By Wine Or In A Game: A Secret Edwardian Gentlemen's Hockey Club

Never Defeated By Wine Or In A Game: A Secret Edwardian Gentlemen's Hockey Club

   Cover of the Sticks Club Handbook, 1910   A fascinating item recently came into The Hockey Museum’s possession which threw an amusing light on a social activity in London hockey circles in the early years of the last century. It was the history of an exclusive gentlemen’s hockey club...

The Jean Arnold Collection: The Lord Mayor's Cup

The Jean Arnold Collection: The Lord Mayor's Cup

The Jean Arnold collection was donated to The Hockey Museum (THM) during lockdown and is now helping to uncover more of the once-hidden history of women’s league hockey.   Jean Arnold  Jean Arnold, a well-known figure in Liverpool hockey circles, has donated a large number of items relating to the...

Baffling Brass Buttons

Baffling Brass Buttons

  The Hockey Museum (THM) has recently acquired a set of blazer buttons that once adorned the England blazer of George Hardy. These buttons, emblazoned (ahem) with the HA logo of the Hockey Association, presumably made their way to Hardy’s fellow England player, Captain John Yate Robinson who passed them...

A Tale Of Principled Pilley

On 14 April 1935 (not 1938 as stated on this British Pathé YouTube clip), Germany women played England women in Berlin. The result was 6-4 victory for England. An unexpected tour given the precarious political situation in Europe. The England team line up: Eileen Arnold (GK), Mary Knott (Cptn), Marjorie...

A Rare Item In The Modern Hockey World

A Rare Item In The Modern Hockey World

The Hockey Museum recently received a Winchester HC fixture card for the 2017-2018 season. This came as a bit of a surprise as we knew that many (most?) clubs no longer produce such a publication. With the availability of information on the internet and social media they have become virtually...

Old Creightonians Archive Arrives With A Suprise

Old Creightonians Archive Arrives With A Suprise

Mike Smith, Curator of THM (left) discusses theOld Creightonians HC archive with Simon Lawton-Smith (right). At The Hockey Museum (THM) we receive at least one collection each week, but not many have a twist in the story like this one. A recent visit by Simon Lawton-Smith brought us the club records...

Terrific Trophies

Terrific Trophies

Over the past couple of years, a considerable amount of material, including a large collection of trophies, has come to THM from Cannock HC. It was rescued from the former National Hockey Stadium in Milton Keynes by Laurie Alcock, affectionately known as 'Mr Cannock'. Had Laurie not saved it, the cabinets and artefacts...

The Work Of Preserving Hockey Heritage: Saving The AEWHA Scrapbook

The Work Of Preserving Hockey Heritage: Saving The AEWHA Scrapbook

The All England Women’s Hockey Association (AEWHA) Collection is looked after at the University of Bath by their Archivist, Lizzie Richmond. The collection contains many unique and irreplaceable items documenting the evolution of women’s hockey in the UK. Two items, the Hockey Jottings scrapbook and the very first minute book...

A Vintage Christmas Present? From India To The London Stage

A Vintage Christmas Present? From India To The London Stage

Photo from Daisy Pulls It Off, showing at the Park Theatre, Finsbury Park, London.Photo courtesy of Tomas Turpie. One of our eagle-eyed supporters spotted this wonderful image taken by Tomas Turpie in The Times newspaper last week. It was from a review of Daisy Pulls It Off, a play that...

An Early Easter Hockey Tour

An Early Easter Hockey Tour

Programme (cover) of The Newport Centrals Hockey Club Fourth Annual Tour, Season 1913-14   Easter hockey tours and festivals have been very popular for many years, probably more so before the league systems were set up in the 1960s and ‘70s. A recent find, hidden amongst our postcard collection, gives...

Bullets Stopped Play

Bullets Stopped Play

Yesterday one of our volunteers was going through a collection and found this newspaper cutting from Thanet International Hockey Festival, 1964. Anyone who has been to Thanet will know that three coats is a mininum and not just because of the flying bullets.

Hockey Played In Antarctica

Hockey Played In Antarctica

"First game of Hockey played on ice near Ship", from The Atlantic magazine, 2013.   The Hockey Museum recently heard of hockey being played in a most unlikely location: on the sea ice in Antarctica. We were contacted by an Antarctic history enthusiast who pointed out that the British Film...

Bringing History To Life With Juan Calzado

Bringing History To Life With Juan Calzado

The Hockey Museum (THM) was very proud to receive a visit recently (28 March 2017) from Juan Calzado, former President of the International Hockey Federation (FIH), European Hockey Federation (EHF) and Real Club de Polo, Barcelona. We were honoured that on a holiday visit to London with family he took...

An Update On The English Cup

An Update On The English Cup

In 2015 The Hockey Museum received an enquiry from Alan Lancaster. He sent two photographs, one a team photograph, which Alan thought was Newhey Ladies’ Hockey team. One of the photographs featured his mother Doreen Howles and her two sisters, Vera and June holding a cup which was believed to...

Three Antique Silver Cups From The Royal Navy HA

Does the existence of three antique silver cups with the Royal Navy HA have a ‘black lining’? The Royal Navy Hockey Association is the proud owner of three silver cups that date back to the 1900 period. They were used for different competitions between ships and units that made up...

The Grand International Match

The Grand International Match

During the First World War, the War Office often used sporting references to try to persuade sportsmen to enlist and an amusing notice in the book Ireland’s Call (by Stephen Walker) recently caught our eye.

The Liberty Bodice

The Liberty Bodice

We recently came across an interesting advertisement in The Hockey Field magazine from 6 January 1916: "Physical Instructors and Games Mistresses are recommended to try the Liberty Bodice. It obviates the necessity for corsets and gives absolute freedom of movement to growing girls. It is ideal wear for all kinds...

Hockey And Football: A Comparison

Hockey And Football: A Comparison

We recently acquired copies of a rare early sports magazine dating from 1906 – The Cricketer, The Hockey and Football Player. It was only published for just over a year taking in two cricket and one winter season. The magazines contain a number of interesting articles that make comment on...

An Illegal Hockey Stick

An Illegal Hockey Stick

New collections are, thankfully, arriving weekly and many of them create great interest when received. The hockey stick illustrated in the below images was a real example of this. It came complete with a copy of an advertisement from Hockey Magazine of 4 September 1908 extolling the virtues of the...

The Jet-propelled Hockey Stick That Didn't Take Off!

The Jet-propelled Hockey Stick That Didn't Take Off!

In response to the many enquiries that we receive at The Hockey Museum our volunteers are constantly trawling through hockey publications in search of information. These searches often take twice as long as expected because we find unrelated pieces that are very interesting. One such piece was discovered recently in...

Hockey On The Sand At Minehead

Hockey On The Sand At Minehead

Hockey players on the beach at Minehead with North Hill behind. Photograph by Alfred Vowles.  Unlike most of today's youngsters who learn to play on artificial pitches, Nan Williams, a former England international and volunteer at The Hockey Museum (THM), started her playing career on the sands of Minehead on the...

Have You Heard Of The English Cup?

Have You Heard Of The English Cup?

I have recently joined the many volunteers working with the The Hockey Museum. As I live in the Manchester area I am quite away from all the action, however I have recently been forwarded a couple of enquires from the Museum in relation to matters from the North! My first...

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