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Peter Boizot

 

16.11.1929 – 05.12.2018

Most hockey enthusiasts will have enjoyed Pizza Express or a Peroni beer at some time, but would they know of their connections to hockey?

The answer lies in the story of Peter Boizot, described on his newly installed plaque in Peterborough Town Hall as “Mr Peterborough”. Yet Peter was also a great hockey enthusiast and the founder of Pizza Express. He loved jazz music and these four passions – his hometown, Italian cuisine, hockey and jazz – dominated Peter’s life. Each would merit a long story in their own right.

 

Peter Boizot plaque

 

For the good people of his home town to describe him as Mr Peterborough is a great accolade and to erect a plaque to him in the Town Hall is a much-deserved honour. Peter saved Peterborough United Football Club bringing in the irrepressible Barry Fry as his manager, took over the splendid Great Northern Hotel and gave great support to the Cathedral. Few can have shown such support for Peterborough.

Peter founded Pizza Express from which he imported and launched Peroni beer into the UK marketplace. The company’s success enabled him to indulge his passions including jazz and hockey. He even turned the basement of one of his restaurants into a celebrated jazz venue. Within hockey, Peter was President of Hampstead HC and he bought a local pub to provide them with a clubhouse! His generosity extended into the wider sport with sponsorship of the South League, the London League and many other causes within hockey.

Peter died in 2018 but not before he heard about the The Hockey Museum. Thankfully he donated some splendid trophies, one of which is pictured, and we hold a framed presentation piece of the ties of all the member clubs of the London League that were presented to Peter as a token of their thanks and appreciation.

pdfMaybe we in hockey should erect a hockey heritage blue plaque to commemorate a great friend of our sport?

Further information on Peter’s life can be downloaded as PDF courtesy of his long-time hockey club Hampstead & Westminster HC. Click the PDF icon to download. Alternatively, the Pizza Express website carries a tribute; click here.

 

Peterborough Cup
 
An ornate silver trophy donated to The Hockey Museum by Peter Boizot in 2014. It depicts a men's hockey scene in relief and is understood to have been a Peterborough Hockey Club trophy around 1913.

 

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