England win the first Men's over 75s international hockey match

England Over 75s - winning inaugural team in Holland 12th Nov 2013

An England Over 75s squad was recently selected to play in an inaugural match against The Netherlands on 12 November 2013 at Den Bosch Hockey Club, Netherlands. An application has been made to include this in the Guinness Book of Records as the first Men's over 75s international hockey match - which England's Over 75s won 4-1.

Taking to the field in typical English weather, fine drizzle turning to heavier rain, England immediately took the game to the Dutch but the early pressure failed to produce any goals and the Dutch came more into the game, making inroads into the English half and forcing a penalty corner. The Dutch then moved into an early lead as England struggled to clear and the ball was bundled into the net.

With Mike Fripp in goal, Colin Pinks, Brian Heelis and Leon Mack at the heart of a solid English defence and Keith Hunt and Gilbert Grace working both wings the Dutch had to work overtime to keep the English at bay. The equaliser finally arrived when the Dutch defenders were slow to deal with a simple clearance and John Land slotted home past an unsighted ‘keeper.

Now back on level terms, England warmed to their task and the Dutch were pinned into their own half of the field. A Dutch foot prevented a further goal and Bill Greenwood stepped up to increase the lead from the resultant penalty stroke, resulting in a 2-1 half time score to England.

From the restart the Dutch endeavoured to raise their game and were able to force a couple of penalty corners but they failed to trouble the defence and England, prompted by David Wright, John Land and Gerald Wilkinson, always looked likely to increase their lead. A penalty corner proved to be the Dutch undoing when the ‘keeper failed to clear and Bill Warrender pounced to touch the ball over the line. With Gurney White, Barrie Roberts and Fred Crouch providing fresh legs, there was no respite for the Dutch and England moved into a 3 goal lead with the goal of the game as Keith Hunt diverted a David Wright pass beyond the helpless ‘keeper. A good team performance from the Over 75s!

After the game a plaque was also presented to the England party which captain John Land accepted and proposed that it should become a trophy to be held by the winning team in all future matches between the Netherlands and England Over 75 teams. It's hoped that there will be some more countries producing over 75s men teams, so as to make a viable category in the forthcoming World Cup at The Hague in June 2014.

Read more about England's Masters, both Men and Women, on our Masters pages.

England O75s squad

Fred Crouch
Mike Fripp (GK)
Gilbert Grace
Bill Greenwood
Bryan Heelis
Keith Hunt
John Land (Captain)
Leon Mack
Colin Pinks
Barrie Roberts
Bill Warrender
Gurney White
Gerald Wilkinson
David Wright