Hockey writer Pat Rowley honoured

Hockey writer Pat Rowley honoured

Journalist Patrick Rowley has received the British Empire Medal for services to Hockey at a ceremony held at The Tower of London.

Rowley has been involved in hockey for over 70 years, first as a player, then as national coach, sports correspondent, archivist and commentator. He is recognised for his unrelenting global promotion of the game.

Her Majesty the Queen’s Official 90th birthday Honour’s List was published on 10 June 2016. Patrick received his British Empire Medal on behalf of the Queen, by the Lord-Lieutenant of London,Mr Kenneth Olisa OBE and in the presence of the Constable General Sir Nicholas Houghton GCB CBE ADC. 

Rowley was accompanied by his wife, Elizabeth, and daughter Alison Heeks.

Patrick’s daughter commented: ”This was a very proud day for my father, for his family and ultimately for the sport of Hockey, which is finally being recognised as a sport that makes a valuable contribution to bringing together like-minded people globally.  My father has worked tirelessly to promote the sport and this honour of a British Empire Medal, is truly a fitting tribute to his lifetime of dedication.’.

Patrick (aged 82) has had a long career in journalism working for some of the world’s leading media organisations, at home and all around the world. He was employed for over 50 years by The Guardian in several capacities, was Deputy Sports Editor of The Observer and then worked for 25 years for The Sunday Times. Among the other media organisations for whom he contributed as a freelance were Dawn (Pakistan), Times of India, The Sunday Telegraph, The Daily Telegraph, The Times, Daily and Sunday Express, Daily and Sunday Mail, BBC, ITV Rediffusion, Sky Sports, LBC Radio and international news agencies Reuters, AFP and Extel.

Rowley was Personal Assistant to two Presidents of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) and the founder (in 1965) and editor of the International Hockey Newsletter before founding and editing ‘World Hockey’, the former magazine of the FIH  (June 1969 to April 1991).

In 1987 the International Hockey Federation (FIH), recognised his outstanding contribution by awarding him their ‘Order of Merit’. He was also honoured by Jawaharlal Nehru Society and AIPS. (International Press Sports Assoc.).

Patrick’s continued promotion of hockey led to his proposing and founding a number of the sports high profile initiatives, the Hockey World Cups, the Hockey Writer’s Club, the AIPS Hockey Commission and the Hockey Museum.   

His knowledge of the game is renowned and his encyclopaedic memory is called upon daily by sports desks worldwide. In 1964 he wrote the ‘Book of Hockey’ and for over 40 years he has been compiling an archive of Club, National, European and international hockey fixtures and results, the only complete existing archive of 65 years of hockey matches played, won drawn, lost and goal scorers that exists.  A valuable asset, archive and lasting legacy for the sport he loves.

Patrick responded to his award by commenting: “My life has been dedicated to raising the profile of hockey.  To be honoured for what I saw as a passion rather than a job, is beyond my wildest expectations.   It has always been my ambition, to encourage the development of Hockey worldwide from grassroots to masters levels.Part of my personal dream was fulfilled when Great Britain’s Women’s team dramatically won the Olympic Gold in Rio de Janerio this summer. I am truly humbled by this honour, when really all I have done is promote a sport I love”.