Hockey Writers' Awards

The England teams, athletes and their successes over the past year were warmly celebrated on Wednesday at the annual Hockey Writers’ Club Awards.

Barry Middleton receives the 2010 Hockey Writers' Club Player of the Year Award from Simon MasonBarry Middleton, the 27-year-old Great Britain and England captain and Helen Richardson, the 29-year-old Great Britain, England and Reading central midfield player were this afternoon named UK Players of the Year for 2010 following the annual poll conducted amongst British members of the Hockey Writers’ Club. Both players, recently selected by the International Hockey Federation in their World squads for 2010, are no strangers to honours and barring injury look certain to take their places in the GB squad in the London Olympics.

Helen Richardson the former Leicester player, who returned to England 18 months ago following a highly successful year with Dutch European Champions Den Bosch who was the 2009 winner of the award, has experienced another splendid year internationally being instrumental in England winning Bronze medals in the World Cup, Commonwealth Games and the elite Champions Trophy.

Helen Richardson shows off the 2010 Hockey Writers' Club Player of the Year Award with Beth Storry and Kate Walsh

Helen and Barry received the traditional Rose Bowls and their cheque at today’s presentational Lunch at the Royal Thames Yacht Club, in Knightsbridge, London from Simon Mason, President of England Hockey, himself a winner of the Men’s Award in 1994 and again in 2003, who was the principal guest at the lunch. Helen donated her cheque to the Youth
Section of her first club – West Bridgford Monarchs HC with Barry doing likewise to his first club Doncaster.

The much travelled Barry Middleton, winner in 2004 and 2007 was taking the title for a record third time to equal that of Karen Brown. Middleton is currently playing his indoor hockey with East Grinstead before returning next month to Germany to play for Der Club An der Alster who he joined this season. He started his hockey career with Doncaster, before moving to Cannock and then to HGC the leading Dutch club in The Hague.

Runners-up James Fair (Cannock) and Beth Storry (Reading), were also both named in the All Star World Squads, as was last year’s men’s winner, Ashley Jackson (East Grinstead) who this year finished third. GB and England women’s captain, Kate Walsh who has twice won the Award finished third in the women’s voting.

Andy Bull and Harry Martin receive the Higgins Group UK Youth Award 2010 from FIH President Leandro Negre at the Hockey Writers' Club

Alice Sharp receives the Higgins Group UK Youth Award 2010 from FIH President Leandro Negre at the Hockey Writers' ClubPlaques and cheques were also presented to Alice Sharp (University of Birmingham) (pictured right), Andy Bull (Loughborough Students) and Harry Martin (Old Loughtonians & Ipswich School) (above) as winners of the Higgins Group UK Youth Hockey Awards by Richard Higgins, Chairman of Higgins Group plc. Read about their awards here.

Crista Cullen was also named as the winner of the Marjorie Pollard Salver for 2010 following an outstanding performance for England in the Commonwealth Games.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Helen Richardson made the first of her 198 (England 135, GB 63) senior international appearances at the age of 17 at Milton Keynes for England in a 3-0 victory against Japan on 21st July 1999. Her first GB cap followed, also at Milton Keynes on 25th November the same year in a 4-0 win against the USA. She has scored 22 goals (England 19, GB 3).

Barry Middleton was first capped by England in Canterbury against Belgium on 7th April 2003 and three months later made his first Great Britain appearance, again against Belgium, in Vancouver on 1st July GB winning 2-0. To date he has won 223 international appearances (GB 80 England 143) scoring a total of 62 goals (GB 28, England 34).

Previous Winners
1983 Margaret Gleghorne & Paul Barber
1984 Karen Brown & Richard Leman
1985 Linda Carr & Sean Kerly MBE
1986 Moira McLeod & Ian Taylor
1987 Violet McBride & Imran Sherwani
1988 Barbara Hambly OBE & Jon Potter
1989 Vickey Dixon & David Faulkner
1990 Maggie Souyave & Andy Halliday
1991 Joanne Thompson & Jason Laslett
1992 Jane Sixsmith MBE & Rob Hill
1993 Sandie Lister & Julian Halls
1994 Karen Brown & Simon Mason
1995 Tammy Miller & Ian Jennings MBE
1996 Kathryn Johnson & Bobby Crutchley
1997 Karen Brown & Jon Wyatt
1998 Carolyn Reid & David Hacker
1999 Christina Cullen & Chris Ashcroft
2000 Jane Sixsmith MBE & Mark Pearn
2001 Jane Smith & Danny Hall
2002 Leisa King & Robert Todd
2003 Kate Walsh & Simon Mason
2004 Christina Cullen & Barry Middleton
2005 Crista Cullen & Jonathan Ebsworth
2006 Crista Cullen & James Tindall
2007 Kate Walsh & Barry Middleton
2008 Beth Storry & Alastair McGregor
2009 Helen Richardson & Ashley Jackson
2010 Helen Richardson & Barry Middleton

SOURCE: Hockey Writers' Club
PHOTOS: hockeyimages.co.uk