Obituary: Christopher Todd


It is with great sadness that England Hockey has learnt of the passing of Vice President and former international umpire Christopher Todd. 

Christopher passed away on the morning of Thursday 16 August with his family at his side and will be sorely missed and our thoughts are with them at this time.

Christopher carried out his role as England Hockey Vice President with immense pride and was also Vice President of the Army Hockey Association, a life member of both North HUA and North HA and the first ever Patron of North West HUA.

Chris Todd

As an umpire Christopher was appointed to six World Cups (a British record) starting with the 1975 event in Malaysia and finishing with the 1994 World Cup in Australia, two Olympic Games and three European Nations Championships.

He was the first British umpire to officiate in the USSR which was in August 1976 as well as being the neutral European umpire at the Pan-American Games in Cuba in August 1991.

Overall Christopher umpired 110 internationals, receiving the FIH Golden Whistle upon umpiring his 100th international at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

Christopher was on the inaugural panel of umpires for the English National League when it started in 1988 and, although he did not umpire under the auspices of NPUA, having retired from umpiring by the time the Association was formed in 2004, he served with great diligence as a selector, assessor, coach and mentor over several years.

Many umpires around the country, but especially those who operated in the North - whose corner Christopher was always willing to fight - appreciated his informed, wise and kindly words.

In 2017 Christopher produced and printed a voluminous guide on “Hockey Umpiring Top Tips”, which gathered together much of his learning over the years and which he was proud to distribute to umpiring friends and colleagues.

Christopher was a chemistry teacher at Calday Grange Grammar School where he was also Master in Charge of Hockey. He coached here for over 40 seasons with the team winning three national U18 Schools titles; amongst the players he developed was GB and England coach and player Bobby Crutchley.

He drove school hockey within the Wirral and was ever-present at county, regional and national school and club events, organising the Boys Schools Hockey Championships in the North for over 20 years.

The funeral will take place at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral at 2pm on the 7 September. Please arrive in plenty of time due to limited parking.