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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.

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.

 

Canterbury vs England match ball
 
Canterbury vs England match ball stand
 

The match ball from Canterbury vs England, 12 September 1914.
Images courtesy of the Kaiapoi District Historical Museum.

 

As an archaeologist sifts through layers of dirt to find the treasures of history, so does the archivist. As THM’s Archivist, I (Marcus Wardle) sift through papers to unearth the hidden gems of stories and nuggets of hockey history.

Some weeks ago, I was working my way through a series of archival papers when one surfaced that immediately caught my eye: a paper on the England women’s tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1914 entitled, “See These Brilliant Exponents of the game” The England Women’s Hockey Team Tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1914.

This English tour has long been of interest because it began international hockey for Australia and New Zealand.

At this time the English side did not necessary comprise the nation’s best players, rather, it consisted of those women who could afford to travel half-way around the world and had the leisure time to do so. This tour also took place right at the beginning of the First World War.

It is an interesting tour for its social aspect. Whilst English hockey has always been a reasonably gender-neutral sport, with the men’s and women’s associations founded within a few years of each other, this is an England women’s tour setting out ahead of their male counterparts. In 1913, the Hockey Association of England (HA – men) had declined an invitation to send a touring team because they were worried that the guarantee of expenses for the tour would offend the sensibilities of the amateur players. Another perspective could be that the HA did not want to encourage the idea of professionalisation. Hockey was, and was intended to remain, an amateur game. The AEWHA however – who would have shared the same concerns around ‘amateurism’ – accepted and became the first women to tour internationally.

There is a strong social, gender equality element to this tour. As documented in the archival paper I came across, in 1914 the members of the Australian and New Zealand Ladies’ Hockey Associations were “educated and economically independent, able to participate in political life”. In New Zealand, women had been granted the vote in 1893 with Australia following suit in 1902. By comparison, similar laws in the UK were not passed until 1918, four years after this tour. As the English women’s hockey team toured a society more progressive than their own, this would have had an impact. Arguably, sport gave women a platform to experience and push the progressive initiatives of the day.

However, as progressive as they may have been in Australasia, this did not extend to the wearing of more suitable playing gear. Long skirts and long-sleeved shirts were still the chosen playing kit for women during this period.

The Hockey Museum holds a skirt from one of the England players from this 1914 tour.

 

Skirt from Englands tour to Australia and New Zealand 1914
 
An original ankle-length skirt from England's 1914 tour to Australia and New Zealand.
The blouse and tie are replicas.

 

During the tour, several of the hockey matches were played after rugby fixtures, which equated the prestige of the games with men’s sports. The reporting of the matches followed in a manner that was on a par with male sports reporting. In some cases, the matches were almost recorded blow-by-blow with a separate column for analysis of the match. Such was the reporting of the matches and the fervour that surrounded the national team in New Zealand that matches were reported as the English Women’s Hockey Team versus the All Blacks. The New Zealand rugby team had earned the moniker ‘The All Blacks’ and association of hockey with that name implied a certain pride and status.

Due to the young age of the New Zealand Ladies’ Hockey Association (founded in 1908), any win against the longer-established AEWHA (founded in 1895) was momentous. On 12 September 1914, Canterbury defeated England 3-2. Contemporary reports detail how two players were carried from the pitch to the pavilion on the backs of the crowd. Amongst this melee, the ball was rescued and presented to the Kaiapoi District Historical Museum where it still resides today. 

The paper about this tour is significant because it has allowed us to trace a special and unique sporting heritage object.

While the match ball itself is a minor footnote in the history of sport in New Zealand and of women’s international hockey, that it was kept and is displayed to chronicle a match where a New Zealand team defeated an English team – the strongest hockey nation of the time – is a significant statement of national sporting pride. It is this object’s relationship to the social history from its period that is most compelling. It is a trans-continental story of sporting gender equality. A story that reveals significant levels of public interest in sport in a socially progressive New Zealand, and which implies a level of prestige for women’s hockey that could have developed further to rival men’s sport.

Regrettably, the progress promised by this tour was immediately disrupted by the outbreak of the First World War.

 

Marcus Wardle
29.07.2021

1908 England Olympic Hockey Team Finalists 300dpi
 
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 London Olympic Games.

Although born in the Falklands at Fox Bay in 1881 it is unlikely that Louis learned his hockey there. He was clearly a very natural sportsman competing extensively when he came to England in his youth. His father emigrated to the Falkland Islands from the Nottingham area around 1876 to become a sheep farmer. When Louis ‘returned’ to England he chose to live in Northampton, marrying there in 1910. He played hockey for Northampton as a fullback and went on to play for England nine times in that position, including the gold medal match at the White City stadium in the 1908 Olympic Final.

Louis's other sporting activities included football for Wandsworth AFC and he was still in the Northants County Lawn Tennis team at the age of 50 – clearly a very talented all-round sportsman. He also enjoyed some business success becoming a Director of Phipps Brewery in Northampton – a fine example of the age-old link between alcohol and hockey! He continued to live in Northants dying there in 1965 at the age 84.

It is difficult to imagine modern-day Olympic champions being able to lead such a diverse sporting life as well as incorporating a business career; especially when today’s elite performance squads demand such high dedication, both in time and professionalism.

More information on the extended Baillon family can be found here.

 

Louis Baillon hockey memorabilia
 

Louis Charles Baillon's sporting memorabilia resides in the Falkland Islands Museum in Stanley.

Image credit: the Friends of the Falkland Islands Museum.

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 it most certainly shortened hostilities by a couple of years.

Very sadly, Alan Turing’s ground-breaking computer science work in the early 1940s was not properly appreciated in his lifetime, partly because of the Official Secrets Act but mainly because of the social prejudices of that period – Turing was a gay man. That he was not properly recognised in his own lifetime is a mortal sin but at least in these more enlightened times he is receiving the appreciation and awards for his contribution to the world we now enjoy.

Part of this recognition has come with Alan Turing’s appearance on the new £50 polymer bank note. With only four bank note denominations in circulation in England this is a very rare and welcome honour. Interestingly, in issuing these new notes the Bank of England have stated that demand has never been higher for notes and that the £50 note represents 13% of the notes in circulation.

 Alan Turing 50

 

Turing The Hockey Player

Our research has revealed he played hockey at Sherborne School as a boy. Courtesy of Sherborne School Archives, we have a copy of a drawing by his mother, Ethel Sara Turing, of Alan ‘participating’ in a school hockey match. Turing is recorded by The Hockey Museum as a hockey player and in due course he will feature in Hockey’s Military Stories, one of our on-going research projects.

One final twist in the tale relevant to The Hockey Museum in Woking: following his death in 1954 Alan Turing was cremated at Woking Crematorium.

 

Hockey or Watching the daisies Grow by Mrs Ethel Sara Turing 1923 courtesy of Sherborne School Archives LOW RES
 

Hockey or Watching the daisies Grow by Mrs Ethel Sara Turing, 1923.

Image courtesy of Sherborne School Archives.

 

Banking On Your Support

Alan Turing drawing detailWith the launch of the Alan Turing £50 note, we are asking you to please consider donating a similar sum to The Hockey Museum. Your donation will help us to research new stories, continue to grow – like young Alan and his distracting daisies – and become better-known in the hockey world ... less of an Enigma if you will!

If you can't give £50 we will gratefully receive donations of any size.

Please click here to visit our online donation page make a one-off donation by card or PayPal.

Very many thanks from The Hockey Museum team.

 

Christs Hospital WW1 Fundraiser 04 BW

 

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.

 

Christs Hospital WW1 Fundraiser 01 BW     Christs Hospital WW1 Fundraiser 02 BW
     
Photographs of the hockey match fundraiser, 1917. Reproduced with permission of Christ’s Hospital Museum.

 

CH is an independent charity school with a core aim to offer children from humble backgrounds the chance of a better education. It enjoys a strong hockey-playing history and these photographs are a particularly fun example, albeit with a sincere background that might easily be overlooked.

They are from a 1917 charity hockey match between Christ's Hospital Hertford girls and Regent Street Polytechnic in aid of The Star and Garter Home for Disabled Sailors and Soldiers in Richmond, Greater London. The match took place at Paddington Recreation Ground.

 

Star and Garter Hotel over Thames postcard 1890s
 
Postcard, 1890s. The Star and Garter had previously been a renowned hotel (pictured above)
until it closed in 1906. It was used as a military hospital during WW1.

 

Despite the comic attire you’ll notice that oversized footwear was quite sensibly snubbed, otherwise the penalty corner count would have been far higher!

For more information on the history and various guises of The Star and Garter, click here.

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 event bringing together players from different parts of the world – no small feat with the time zones. For those in Calgary it was a 07:00 start; in Toronto and USA it was 09:00; United Kingdom 14:00; Kenya 16:00; Pakistan 18:00pm and a very late 23:00 start for those attendees in Australia!

The conference was attended by around 20 Olympians and ran for 3.5 hours.

Kenyan Olympians 2
 

Slide from Dil Bahra's presentation showing the location of Kenya's Olympic hockey exploits since 1956.

 

Presenting on Kenya’s Olympic history, I heard first-hand about their recollections of the Games. We were all delighted that Reynold D’Souza, who played at Melbourne 1956 Olympic Games, was with us and he was able to tell us how the game was played in those days and the long-lasting friendships made with other athletes. Reynold told us that although he did not play at Rome 1960, he still went to the Olympic Games and four years later he was selected for Tokyo. He mentioned meeting the players who had played in Melbourne.

Avtar Sohal, Hilary Fernandes and Silu Fernandes recalled the quarter final match at the Rome Olympic Games which went into extra time. They played eight periods of extra time with Great Britain scoring the winning goal in the 127th minute.

Sohal, Hilary, Silu, Edgar Fernandes and Reynold D’Souza all played in the famous match in Jabalpur in India on 26 April 1964 when Kenya defeated India 3-0 during Kenya’s tour of India. In so doing they inflicted India’s biggest defeat in 184 international matches. Hilary remembered the goal scorers after 57 years. Three months later India won the gold medal at Tokyo. Avtar, Hilary and Silu also recalled when Kenya defeated Pakistan 3-1 in Nairobi before Pakistan went on to win gold in Rome.

Silu Fernandes showed the Olympic Diploma the Kenya team were awarded for finishing sixth at Tokyo Olympic Games and proudly showed everyone his collection of memorabilia in three framed display panels for each of the Olympic Games he played in.

Ajmal Malik was able to recall the last pool match against Pakistan in Mexico. He mentioned that Kenya only needed a draw to go into the semi-finals of Mexico Olympic Games in 1968 but lost by the odd goal, forcing a pool play-off match against Australia. His colleagues in that match, Hilary and Silu agreed that they should have won this match and still progressed to the semis. Another missed opportunity.

The tone for the afternoon was set and the presentation covered each of the seven Olympic Games that Kenya had participated in with everyone contributing their recollections.

Kenyan Olympians 1
 
Slide from Dil Bahra's presentation showing the Kenya Olympic Team bus from the Melbourne 1956 Olympic Games.

 

The conference participants included:

From the UK: Reynold D’Souza – Melbourne 1956 and Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games; Brajinder Daved – Munich 1972 and Los Angeles 1984; Surjit Singh Rihal, Harvinderpal Singh Sibia and Jagmel Singh Rooprai – Munich 1972; and Manjeet Singh Panesar – Los Angeles 1984.

From Kenya: Avtar Singh Sohal – Rome 1960, Tokyo 1964 (captain), Mexico 1968 (captain) and Munich 1972 (captain).

From Australia: Edgar Fernandes – Rome 1960 and Tokyo 1964.

From Canada: Hilary Fernandes and Silu Fernandes – Rome 1960, Tokyo 1964 and Mexico 1968; Amar Singh Mangat – Tokyo 1964; Raphael Fernandes – Los Angeles 1984.

From Pakistan: Ajmal Malik – Mexico 1968 and Munich 1972.

From the USA: Ranjit Singh Sehmi – Munich 1972.

There were other Guests of Honour including Shuaib Adam (General Secretary of Kenya Olympic Association), Norman Da Costa (Canada) and Cyprian Fernandes (Australia). The latter two guests were both distinguished hockey journalists in Kenya during Kenya’s heyday.

 

An Absent Friend

Parminder (Kake) Singh Saini, who played for Kenya at Los Angeles 1984 and Seoul 1988 Olympic Games had confirmed his attendance at this conference. Sadly, he passed away in Kenya that evening, some three hours after the conference had ended. None of us were aware of this and only found out afterwards.

Kake played for Slough Hockey Club from 1976-79 and is the younger brother of former England international, Bal Saini.

Click here to read his obituary.

 

By Dil Bahra
1 June 2021

Please note: Interested parties can view the majority of Dil Bahra’s presentation on Kenya’s hockey Olympians on Cyprian Fernandes’s personal blog. Please click here.

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