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First Ever Men's 80+ Hockey Internationals
The first men’s Over 80 international hockey match was held at BHV Push, Breda, Holland on 24th April 2019 between England and the Netherlands.
A notary checked ages and identity against passport details to verify that the players were all aged 80 or more during 2019. The match was overseen by a technical officer of WGMA who checked that the sticks complied and ensured the match was run according to FIH rules. All this was thought necessary in order to obtain an entry in the Guinness Book of Records.
The match was largely played between the 23m lines with the dominant defence of both sides preventing many incursions into the ‘D’. Both teams had the occasional short corner with England having a few more than the Netherlands and David Wright of England did succeed in putting the ball into the Netherlands net only for it to be disallowed for stick obstruction.
Walter Hagedoorn of the Netherlands was busy both defending and helping mount the occasional attack but in the end the England defence of Leon Mack, Malcolm Pile and Colin Pinks prevailed. Tony Bowman of England showed his speed in getting up to the Netherlands 23m line but the Netherlands defence of Jan Klein Swormink and Bob van der Giessen prevented any serious England attack.
The match was played in a good spirit and everybody enjoyed the game which ended in a 0 – 0 draw. We invite you to watch the match on YouTube.
After the match the event was celebrated with a splendid dinner arranged by the Dutch hosts.
The following day the teams played a second match which England won 1 – 0 with a short corner goal scored by David Wright.
Frank Reelick took photos of the matches.