New Year's Honours: Andy Tapley awarded MBE for services to hockey

Andy Tapley
England Hockey would like to congratulate Andy Tapley after he was awarded an MBE for services to hockey in the New Year’s Honours List.

Andy’s service to the sport is impossible to sum up succinctly. For the best part of 50 years he has volunteered at, organised and of courses played at hockey clubs and major events across England.

Just a few of his noteworthy achievements includes roles as Chairman of the Organising Committees for the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup in 2018, and the Unibet EuroHockey Championships three years earlier. At grass roots level he was integral in building the first club-owned artificial pitch in Yorkshire, and has been associated with Sheffield Hockey Club for more than 40 years. Having been a member-elected non-executive director of England Hockey for a number of years, he was recently interim Chief Executive ahead of Nick Pink’s arrival in November.

Andy said, "Hockey has been a passion of mine for the vast majority of my adult life. To receive this honour for doing something I enjoy so much is humbling. Sport and team sport in particular, provides the opportunity to forge lifelong friendships and to meet so many wonderful people who share your passion and volunteer their time and energy to improve our great game. I look forward to many more years of volunteering within the Hockey Family."

England Hockey Chief Executive Nick Pink added, "On behalf of everyone at England Hockey I would like to congratulate Andy on a richly-deserved honour. I am well aware of the service he has given to our sport at all levels and it is extremely fitting that he has been recognised in this manner. Even into first few weeks here he has been exceptionally helpful and he has been offering the same support to our sport for many decades now."

Andy first became part of the hockey family joining Preston HC shortly after leaving school. Little did he know that volunteering to join their committee aged 19 would lead to an association with the sport and volunteering, for nearly fifty years!

This was followed at the University of Sheffield studying and playing which naturally led to his more than forty-year association with Sheffield Hockey Club, Yorkshire and the North.

At what is now Sheffield Hallam, Andy was captain of a successful first team and began his volunteering career in various roles both with the Hockey Club and The Abbeydale Sports Club including hockey club chairman and president. He qualified as a coach and together with other senior members of the club ran u12, u16 and u18 boys teams who qualified for National finals at both outdoor and indoor competitions. He was a strong advocate of developing league hockey from county-based leagues and was involved in the inaugural North League from its early stages. In 1990, together with Sheffield club member and former Yorkshire President Michael Elliot, Andy commissioned the first club owned artificial pitch in Yorkshire, based at Abbeydale. It was also here that Andy became closely involved in staging hockey events with county matches, under 21s and senior tournaments including The World Student Games in 1991, all being played at his home club. He has been a member of the Yorkshire HA committee, serving as President and also the North HA as a Vice President. As the North representative on the Regional Consultative Committee Andy became Chairman until standing down while working on the 2012 London Olympic Games. While still in full time employment Andy was a volunteer helping to stage The Euro Hockey championships at Manchester in 2007, the first of many tournaments hosted by England Hockey. It was at Manchester that the concept of Hockey Makers really began and has proved such a success ever since.

Since joining the England Hockey Board in 2012 as a member-elected non-executive director, Andy has been extensively involved in the staging of multiple international events at Nottingham, and Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre. He was the Chairman of the Organising Committee for the European Championships in 2015 and undertook the same role in the Vitality Women’s Hockey World Cup 2018, both events setting a benchmark in the successful staging of hockey international competitions. He has every intention of remaining a Hockey Maker for many years to come.