News 2013

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Most people take playing hockey and a long life for granted. For one English hockey player, these things have never been taken for granted but hockey has proved to be his saviour …

 

How Have I Cheated Death Tim WottonTim Wotton has spent his whole life battling the hereditary illness cystic fibrosis (CF) and recently diagnosed type 1 diabetes and four years ago he reached 40; an incredible milestone for CF sufferers. He has also written a book, How Have I Cheated Death? which charts the importance of hockey to his survival.

Tim says, "Without a shadow of a doubt, a large part of my longevity in defying CF can be credited to the amount of sport I have played throughout my life; mainly hockey."

However, exercise is not at all straight forward for most CF sufferers as the build-up of mucous in the lungs means that less oxygen is available which causes problems for breathing and general fitness. It involves a two-hour daily medical regime consisting of 40 tablets, nebulisers, inhalers, injections and physiotherapy which make it an extremely exhausting condition.

But to counter this debilitating condition, Tim has found that regular exercise has become a necessity to keep his lungs 'tuned', allowing him to keep up with his peers and conduct a relatively normal life.

Tim, from a family of hockey players which included his dad and brothers, has played hockey for countless teams and at many levels. As well as playing for club (Trojans, Southampton, Old Kingstonians and now London Edwardians), county and for his region, he had the honour of being selected for England Juniors which toured Germany in 1986, a team which included Danny Kerry, the current England Hockey Performance Director. In 1987 he trained with the British Olympic winning squad at Bisham Abbey, even scoring a goal past the legendary British goalkeeper Ian Taylor!

Indeed, he was playing first team hockey until he was 32 and still plays at a reasonably competitive level for London Edwardians; though this is ad hoc depending on his health and parental duties for his eight year old son, Felix.

His memoir describes the physical trauma of playing in league games, how he met his wife Katie through mixed hockey, touring with his beloved 'Phantoms' team, a near-death experience while playing and how a comment from an umpire about his coughing almost caused him to retire from the sport.

"When I’m struggling on the pitch, the chaps (who know about my CF) ask me if I'm OK, but the opposition jokingly check if I had a night on the town or have a bad cold. It's especially tough in England with the inclement weather. This has been magnified with my diagnosis as a type 1 diabetic. Now just getting on the pitch, let alone actually playing, takes more and more effort" explains Tim.

He adds, "I might not be able to fully make a difference to the outcome of the game anymore as I could in my younger playing days. Plus my coughing at times can be pretty shocking for those on the pitch. But while there's breath in this body of mine, I'll keep playing on for I know it makes a difference to the outcome of my health. I would go as far as stating that it's a matter of my life or death. I'm desperate to still be playing hockey at 50 and to coach my son to play."

 

Tim's book is available to buy now from online retailers including Austin Macauley and Amazon, as well as in WH Smith, Waterstones and Foyles bookstores (ISBN 9781849637190).

Editor: the opinions presented in this article are those of the individual assigned to review this particular book. They do not represent the views of The Hockey Museum.

Audrey Hewes (1932 - 2013)

20 December 2013
Audrey Hewes (1932 - 2013)

2013 closed with the sad news that Audrey Hewes died on 17 December; news that was all the more stunning as just four days before she was her usual chirpy self at our museum Christmas lunch. A larger than life character, Audrey was known and liked throughout the hockey world. Wherever...

Another Milestone For Pat Rowley

02 December 2013
Another Milestone For Pat Rowley

National Hockey Museum Trustee and hockey writer Patrick John Phillip Rowley turns 80 this Sunday (1.12.2013). One of the most senior hockey writers in the world, Pat has been involved in hockey since he first played for Hounslow in 1948 and reported for the Middlesex Chronicle, his local newspaper, on...

Victorian Hockey

03 October 2013
Victorian Hockey

Freddie Martin, a year five hockey player, is doing a School project on Victorian hockey (the School project is Victorians). As part of his research he contacted The Hockey Museum and attended the open day at the Museum on Thursday 3 October 2013. Freddie had the added bonus of meeting...

Call For Goalkeeping Equipment

20 August 2013

Whilst the collections within The Hockey Museum continue to grow every week, we are lacking in the goalkeeping department. In the main, we are looking for equipment from the 'leather' era. We do not have a single example of gloves or chest protectors. We would be very interested in anything...

Hockey In The Wars

14 August 2013

2014 marks the centenary of the start of the First World War and is the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings. Whilst the playing of organised hockey was largely suspended during both World Wars, many, if not most, hockey players of these periods were involved in the conflicts in one...

Argentinian Hockey Writer Visits THM

01 August 2013
Argentinian Hockey Writer Visits THM

Today’s visitor to the Museum was Eric Weil, the senior hockey correspondent in Argentina. British-born Weil emigrated to Argentina in 1951 and immediately wrote for The Standard, an English language paper, and from 1957 for the Buenos Aires Herald and Associated Press. In the past seven decades he has covered...

FIH Endorsement For The Hockey Museum

09 July 2013
FIH Endorsement For The Hockey Museum

At the recent Hockey World League event at Chiswick the International Hockey Ferderation (FIH) CEO, Kelly Fairweather, visited the The Hockey Museum (THM) stand and was clearly impressed with what he saw. In brief discussions, at a very busy event, Kelly said he would like to visit the Museum as soon...

The Polytechnic Sports Ground In Chiswick

30 June 2013
The Polytechnic Sports Ground In Chiswick

The Polytechnic Sports Ground in Chiswick, where the Investec World Womens League Semi-Finals are being played this week, was one of three venues used for the preliminery matches during the 1948 London Olympic Games. The famous pavilion, as seen in these two photographs is still there, although extended in 1960....

Sports Minister Visit

23 June 2013
Sports Minister Visit

The Hockey Museum stand at the Investec World Women's League Semi-Final played host to an important visitor yesterday evening when the Sports Minister, Hugh Robertson, found time in his very busy schedule to have a look around. Escorted by Philip Kimberley, the England Hockey Board Chairman, he asked to visit...

Generous Donation By Former International

17 June 2013

Joan Wall, a former England women’s international, has made a generous donation to The Hockey Museum. She visited the Investec World League Semi-Final at Chiswick today and on arriving at the Museum’s display stand there, handed over a cheque for £1000. Joan, who represented England 14 times in the late...

Luciana Aymar Visit

17 June 2013
Luciana Aymar Visit

Luciana Aymar visited The Hockey Museum (THM) stand at Chiswick yesterday, following Argentina's 4-0 win over Italy in their final Pool A match at the Investec World League Semi-Final. Luciana is the only player in history to receive the International Hockey Federation (FIH) Player of the Year Award seven times and...

Denys Shortt OBE

03 June 2013
Denys Shortt OBE

We are delighted to announce that The Hockey Museum Life Member, Denys Shortt was recently at Buckingham Palace to receive his OBE for Services to the Economy. Denys, a former England Under 21 international, is a great supporter of hockey and of The Hockey Museum. He is a serial entrepreneur and...

Mike Barford Of Christ's Hospital Joins The Museum

21 May 2013

Mike Barford, a well known member of Richmond Hockey Club and long term organiser of the annual Varsity Match, has joined the volunteer team at the Museum. For the last six years, Mike Barford has been working in the Christ’s Hospital School (CH) Museum, leading a team of volunteers who...

England's Oldest International Player?

06 May 2013
England's Oldest International Player?

The Museum had a visit recently from two stars from the past, Bill Wyatt and John Peake. Bill, who has recently celebrated his 100th birthday, had the distinction of playing for England both before and after WW2, whilst the slightly younger John won a silver medal with Great Britain in...

Hockey And Crime

23 April 2013

Playing hockey in the streets was an issue for the police in the 1830s. In the minutes of evidence before the select committee on policing on 22 February 1838, Captain Peter Page told the committee: "In the neighbourhood of London there is 'hockey' played, by which serious injury may be committed...

Wembley

16 April 2013
Wembley

Nan Williams, a former England international and volunteer at The Hockey Museum, has been researching the history of the Wembley internationals that were played between 1951-1991. There must be loads of memorabilia, photos and stories that you all have that Nan would be interested in. Does anyone have photos of...

Oldest Hockey Photo?

18 February 2013

The Hockey Museum (THM) has acquired two photographs that are thought to be the oldest taken of the modern game. Three of the Museum’s Trustees attended the annual awards luncheon of the Hockey Writers' Club at the Royal Thames Yacht Club in London’s Knightsbridge on 22 January. One of the guests...

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