84 not out for Robert Adams

Robert Adams and his West Derby HC teammates on his record-breaking day

Before the end of the Second World War, a 14-year-old boy took up playing hockey. He probably had no idea back then that he’d become headline news in 2014 due to his long and distinguished playing career. However, Robert Adams, now 84 years old, finds himself in the spotlight as his 70 minutes for West Derby Hockey Club’s 3rd XI this past weekend means he is in the running to be the oldest hockey player in the world.

Having played for the same club for his whole career, bar a four-year-break pursuing his teaching career down south, Adams’ team-mates are understandably very proud of his achievements, a sentiment not echoed by everyone, however:

“My team-mates think it’s great and they’re very supportive. But my wife Elsie’s not too keen - she thinks I should have stopped years ago!”

The 84-year-old successfully negotiated the full 70 minutes of a game his side ran out 4-1 winners in. A tired, but delighted Adams quipped afterwards:

“I’m elated I’m still alive after that! That’s the relief! Obviously I’m delighted to achieve this but I like to keep on playing, this is a record of that. It’s easy really; you just try to keep going.”

Adams, who is 68 years older than his youngest teammate at West Derby has to wait for his efforts to be verified by Guinness Book of World Records but with the current record, held for 5 years by a New Zealander of 83 years old, it looks promising.

Record or no record it’s a fantastic achievement by a man held in very high esteem by teammates and opponents alike.

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