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Chris Todd courtesy of Chris Todd 02

Christopher Todd. Image provided to THM by Christoper Todd prior to his passing.

05.05.1946 – 16.08.2018

We have all been saddened by the news that Christopher passed away on Thursday 16 August 2018. His family were at his side. His association with and contribution to hockey and especially to hockey umpiring was considerable and will be remembered by many people.

Chris, as we all knew him, played hockey at school for Liverpool College (now a state school Academy) and subsequently Hightown Hockey Club for three years until shortly after his twenty-first birthday in 1967 when a major kidney operation curtailed his playing career.

As an umpire, Christopher was appointed to six World Cups (a British record) starting with the 1975 event in Malaysia and finishing with the 1994 World Cup in Australia, two Olympic Games and three European Nations Championships.

He was the first British umpire to officiate in the USSR, which was in August 1976, as well as being the neutral European umpire at the Pan-American Games in Cuba in August 1991.

Overall Christopher umpired 110 internationals, receiving the FIH Golden Whistle upon umpiring his 100th international at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

Christopher was on the inaugural panel of umpires for the English National League when it started in 1988 and, although he did not umpire under the auspices of NPUA, having retired from umpiring by the time the Association was formed in 2004, he served with great diligence as a selector, assessor, coach and mentor over several years.

In 1991 Chris was awarded the National Award of Merit by the National Governing Body.

Chris retired from umpiring internationals and National League in 1995 but continued for many years as an active Umpire Coach, Mentor and Umpire Manager in the National League (NPUA), North (NHUA) and North West (NWHUA) with many of our current and past umpires receiving the benefit of his experience, always delivered in an encouraging and very positive manner.

Chris has served on the NHUA (North Hockey Umpiring Association) since 1995 being elected President on three occasions 2006-2009, 2009-2011 and 2014-2017, and chaired the Management Committee from 2006-2014.

He was elected NWHUA President 2004-2007 and again in 2017.

He was also a former President of Cheshire HA 2014-2017

In March 2013 Chris was elected England Hockey Vice President and re-elected for a second term in 2016, a role from which he derived immense pride. He was also made a Vice President of the Army Hockey Association in May 2017. He became a Life Member of both North HUA and North HA and the first ever Patron of North West HUA.

Many umpires around the country, but especially those who operated in the North – whose corner Christopher was always willing to fight – appreciated his informed, wise and kindly words.

In 2017 Christopher produced and printed a voluminous guide on Hockey Umpiring Top Tips, which gathered together much of his learning over the years and which he was proud to distribute to umpiring friends and colleagues.

Christopher was a chemistry teacher at Calday Grange Grammar School where he was also Master in Charge of Hockey. He coached here for over 40 seasons with the team winning three national U18 Schools titles; amongst the players he developed was former Great Britain and England coach and player Bobby Crutchley.

He drove school hockey within the Wirral and was ever-present at county, regional and national school and club events, organising the Boys Schools Hockey Championships in the North for over twenty years.

He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Christopher’s funeral service will be held at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral at 14:00 on 7 September. People are asked to arrive in plenty of time due to limited parking.

Chris Reece, 17 August 2018


The Hockey Museum's oral history interview with Christopher Todd can be found here. Listen to Todd's hockey career in his own words. The Museum has used an extract from this interview in its current exhibition: The Hockey Museum First XI.

pdfEd: The eulogy read at the funeral by Christopher's brother, Hugh, can be downloaded by clicking the PDF icon to the right.

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