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Ireland has many claims to fame as far as hockey is concerned. The island’s traditional stick and ball game of Hurley can be dated back to very early times.

It is little surprise therefore that when the organised game of hockey began to appear in the second half of the nineteenth century, the Irish were particularly adept at it. In a year when Ireland will be playing in the Olympics and only for the second time, it must be remembered that both the Irish men and women featured in both of the first ever international hockey matches in 1895 and 1896 respectively. That is a deserved honour that many countries would covert.

An examination of the early years of Irish men’s hockey reveals a very interesting thread, that is the numbers of sets of brothers who played for their country in that period. It could be said that with only a few people playing the sport there were bound to be lots of brothers but in fact hockey in Ireland flourished very quickly and the clubs proliferated from the start of hockey in 1892. By 1894 there were 16 clubs and by 1896 the number had risen to 27. By 1898 there were 4 provincial branches of the Union with clubs flourishing in all.

By 1914 and the start of WW1, Ireland men had played 55 international matches, most within the British Isles. 55 matches in the days before substitutes meant that 605 individual team selections had been made. Of these, at least 164 selections were brothers – well over a quarter. The ‘brotherhood’ started with the first match of 1895 with the Birmingham brothers and went on to include 6 lots of 3 brothers and the unparalleled Paterson brothers, of whom 6 played for Ireland and on one occasion with 5 in the same team.

The writer suspects the faint possibility of another record lurking within these statistics; that is, was one of the same name pairings actually a father and son?

Hockey’s Five-a-side Future?

14 December 2015
Hockey’s Five-a-side Future?

Is this the beginning of the end of hockey as we know it? The introduction of Hockey 5s for the first time at a senior international tournament in the Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea this summer was a potentially ground-breaking moment in the history of hockey. It is a...

THM Appoints A Collections Management Officer

16 November 2015

The Hockey Museum (THM) is delighted to announce that Karen Clarke will be joining us early in the new year to become our Collections Management Officer. Karen has a superb pedigree in the field of museum accreditation and collections management. She comes to us from the Hampshire Cultural Trust where...

Call For Tenders: To Lead A Study To Scope Hockey’s Worldwide Heritage

03 November 2015
Call For Tenders: To Lead A Study To Scope Hockey’s Worldwide Heritage

Organisation: The Hockey MuseumLocation: UK, Surrey, WokingClosing date: 27 November 2015Job type: contractSalary: budget in the region of £10,000 The Hockey Museum (THM), supported by the International Hockey Federation (FIH), plans to carry out a scoping study that will define an approach to the task of developing a worldwide network...

Spring Forward, Fall Back

03 November 2015

As the clocks go back The Hockey Museum continues to move forward. Grab a cuppa and enjoy the read... What an exciting and successful summer for The Hockey Museum! In early July we went into partnership with the International Hockey Federation (FIH) to support them in one of their stated...

Ireland’s Call: Hockey Players Who Fell In WW1

23 October 2015
Ireland’s Call: Hockey Players Who Fell In WW1

One of The Hockey Museum’s (THM) volunteers, Peter Jackson, has been involved in the hockey research that supported the recent publication of the book Ireland’s Call: Irish Sporting Heroes Who Fell in the Great War, (published by Merrion Press) written by BBC journalist, Stephen Walker. The book follows the fascinating...

THM Talk: Australian Women's Hockey 05.11.2015

22 October 2015
THM Talk: Australian Women's Hockey 05.11.2015

Photo: Australian touring team 1970. Janet Beverly is in the back row, third from the right. On Thursday 5 November 2015 Australian international hockey player Janet Beverly will be presenting a talk entitled Australian Women's Hockey: From England With Love at The Hockey Museum, Woking. For more details visit the Upcoming Events page or...

THM Job Vacancy: Collections Management Officer

14 September 2015
THM Job Vacancy: Collections Management Officer

The Hockey Museum, Woking, Surrey.Collections Management OfficerAverage 3 days a week - flexibleExpected remuneration: c. £20k - 23k pro rataFixed term 1 year, with potential to extend. Freelancers welcome to apply. The Hockey Museum (THM) opened in late 2011, achieved charitable status later that year and is working toward Museum...

Ric Charlesworth And The Queen’s Reign

11 September 2015

Wednesday 9 September 2015, the day that our Queen Elizabeth II became the longest serving monarch in British history. Very significant coverage has been given to this event in all forms of the media. On the morning, BBC Radio Five Live had a wide ranging feature that included an interview with...

The EuroHockey Championships 2015: What Glorious Moments

07 September 2015
The EuroHockey Championships 2015: What Glorious Moments

As the Champions of Europe were triumphantly crowned on the field, we celebrated (off the field!) our largest ever exhibition. We hope you enjoyed watching the Unibet EuroHockey Championships 2015 either on TV, through the various website channels, or live at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. If you visited The...

Get Your Hands On Newsletter Vol.6

19 August 2015

Our latest newsletter is now available to download. Catch up on all the latest going ons at The Hockey Museum by following this link. Shane Smith, 20 August 2015

Irish Match Statistics

18 August 2015
Irish Match Statistics

The Irish have done some great research work to pull together a full record of all the men’s international matches since the first game in 1895. The task has been completed by Steve Hines who admitted that it had been a labour of love to develop the database since he...

The Barry Middleton Collection

17 August 2015
The Barry Middleton Collection

In boxes, suit carriers and a suitcase came a collection commemorating the hockey history of Barry Middleton, England and Great Britain international and Olympic competitor. It showed just how diverse are the collections which we are given to preserve for posterity at The Hockey Museum. Sorting through the many and...

Another 'Wow Moment': A British Team In Europe In 1935

04 August 2015
Another 'Wow Moment': A British Team In Europe In 1935

It is not often that we learn of international matches that we are unaware of. We recently received an enquiry from a regular contact in Dublin, asking if we had any information on the British teams that visited Europe in 1935 and 1937. We certainly had not as, in our...

The Hockey Museum Gains International Recognition

15 July 2015
The Hockey Museum Gains International Recognition

The Hockey Museum (THM) Trustees are delighted to announce that the FIH Foundation for the Promotion & Development of Hockey (the FIH Foundation) and THM have signed an agreement (a Memorandum of Understanding) that formalises the collaboration between them to work together to preserve hockey’s heritage. The key aims are...

The Hockey Museum Is Helping Two UK Exhibitions

31 May 2015

On 10th June a sports exhibition titled Team Spirit opens at the Orleans Gallery in Richmond. We have provided some material relevant to their area. Also, at the moment, we have material in an exhibition in Alford Manor House in Lincolnshire to celebrate their local patron who was a hockey enthusiast. So,...

FIH President Drops By

16 May 2015
FIH President Drops By

FIH President Pays Whistle Stop Visit To The Hockey Museum Players in the Mercian Home Counties Colts Hockey League Finals at Guildford received a surprise visit when the International Hockey Federation (FIH) president, Leandro Negre, called in to make some presentations. He then went on to Woking to visit The Hockey...

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