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 John Land

 

17.07.1938 – 06.01.2021

We are sorry to advise that John Land, former England and Great Britain player, has passed away. John had been suffering with Motor Neurone Disease for the past four years and his condition deteriorated recently and he passed away peacefully with his wife Julie holding his hand. All a bit sudden, but we can draw comfort from knowing that he will face no further suffering. He chose to hang around for Christmas. Nice that he did things on his own terms!

John did a lot of work for hockey over many years, particularly for the North, the LX Club and Sunderland. There was a great occasion to mark his 80th birthday with a celebration game and lunch in Durham in 2018 when John was able to make an emotional speech.

John was an exceptional athlete, very quick and a rare breed in that he played for England and Great Britain in the 1960s, playing in the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo at a time when most hockey internationals came from the south. He rediscovered hockey later in life; he started playing over 60s when he thought his hockey career was over. He played for England at Grand Masters age group levels winning gold medals at over 60, over 65 and over 70 levels and played in the first ever over 75 international against Holland in 2015.

John was instrumental in creating the opportunity and promoting over 60s hockey in northern England and his work means that the North now run sides at over 60, over 65 and over 70 level in the regional tournaments (having won gold at over 65 and over 70 level). He was the first North regional representative for the LX Hockey Club bringing many North players into international Grand Masters hockey.

He was President of the North Hockey association in 2006 and helped develop the organisation for all levels of hockey in the North.

John was one of life’s gentlemen; he was a gifted player with a keen will to win and he will be missed by all who knew him.

John leaves his wife Julie, who has been his carer for the last few years, sons Keith and Nigel, daughter Sheena, their partners and six grandchildren. Our condolences and best wishes go to them.

Chris Reece

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