Firstly, congratulations on becoming the New Captain at Caldy Golf Club, starting this March, you are going to have a busy summer. The big question for us all here at the Hockey Club is, are we going to have to call you Mr Captain or can we still call you ******* ****** like we normally do?
The usual abuse will be just fine….at least up until March 24th when it all begins!!!
When did you first take up the fine art of Hockey?
At Caldy School in 1979 at the ripe old age of 14 (do the maths!!).My first Master In Charge of Hockey was Peter Cross who sadly passed away last year and who really pushed me in the first place. I was also incredibly fortunate to have been mentored by Geoff Poole who used to pick me up every Saturday to play for Neston and taxi me all over the North West of England!! Did you know that Pooley could shave in the shower without a mirror?…An incredible skill which I later saw Andy Crutchley try to replicate with disastrous consequences.
What positions have you played?
Started off at Centre Half (there were no Diamonds or bloody Christmas Trees in the eighties…just blonde streaks and mullet haircuts!), but played nearly all my hockey for Neston at Right Half, Right Back or Sweeper.
Thats incredible you sounded just like that bloke in "Life on Mars",
so what are you reading at the moment?
Caldy Golf Club “The Story So Far”….essential bedtime reading, I can pass you a copy if you like? I am also reading the latest Christopher Brookmyre book, a modern Scottish thriller writer. Brilliant.
What is your favourite film?
The Shawshank Redemption. Its either that or watching Steve Greene getting more and more drunk on our Wedding video. Classic.
Philosophy of life?
If you are going to do something then do it 100% or you will regret it when you reflect on it later. That and only ever give a higher handicap golfer a three quarters allowance in Matchplay. (The golfers will know what I mean!!)
Bezzy I know exactly what you mean, I am one of those higher handicap golfers!!
Best player you have played with or against?
This is a tough one because I was fortunate enough to be playing at a time when we were playing in the top flight of The National League and were therefore playing against the best players in the country. Undoubtedly the best two forwards I played against were Sean Kerly and Imran Sherwani. Kerly played for Southgate at Neston Rec just after he won his Olympic Gold Medal and was just a ruthless finisher. Sherwani was his “provider” in the GB side and his stick skills were just sublime….rather like your own Bushy.
In terms of guys I played with, I would have to say Martyn Grimley who spent a couple of years with us after the Olympics and of the “home grown” Neston men Rob Smith and Malcolm Wilkinson. All terrific players in their respective positions and great blokes too.
The Richard Beswick School of Hockey has done tremendously well here for the Junior section of NSWHC, how do you see the state of our Juniors?
Fabulous. There are some really good young prospects who are coming through the ranks and it is a pleasure to see all their hard work and commitment paying off. What is particularly pleasing is that it is an improvement “across the board” and not just with the supposedly better players. That having been said, I would genuinely expect some of the Juniors to be playing in our top sides very soon. They have a great attitude and desire for the game which is great to see.
While you are practicing your short game, or coaching hockey, what does Lady Beswick do?
Pauline is a superstar. She has to be to tolerate everything I put in front of her!!
With two young kids (Three if you include me!) and working part time as well it’s a surprise she has time for anything else. She has started running within the last 12 months (Robbie Smith’s influence), she plays the banjo (Irish family influence), and she has international caps for shopping. Seriously, I couldn’t do half the things I do without her support and she knows what that means to me, Robert and Lydia.
Top tip for Hockey?
What, apart from Learn to Hit it Hard?? Old cliché I know, but, keep it simple and always be mindful of how important the basics are in the game. If you can’t stop it and pass it you probably aren’t going to get very far. Blimey, I sound like Rob Smith.
What are you listening to, music wise at the moment?
In an attempt to cling on to my youth, NME ‘s Compilation Album, Razorlight and The Killers.
However, much more importantly (and don’t broadcast this) I went to see George Michael in concert just before Christmas with two work colleagues. Three blokes re-living the heady eighties together at Wembley Arena. Mullets, Sparkly suits, Club Tropicana, Quattros Wine Bar West Kirby, Rupert’s in Birkenhead, Grass pitches, Mulberry sticks….oh the memories!!
Best advice given to you?
Rob Smith once told me that when you have kids, “Breast is best”…that way you can get your sleep. On a slightly less sexist note and more hockey related, if you are having a bad day on the pitch (and who doesn’t?) make sure the guy you are up against does not have an easy time. WIN your personal battle.
What next for NSWHC?
Keep the progress going with the Juniors because as Michael Jackson says “I believe the children are the future…!!! We need the first team to push on now and try to be playing at least a couple of leagues higher than we are presently. They should be the “flagship” of any Club and it is important that they recognise that and put in the effort accordingly. The strength in depth down the Club appears to be as good as it has been for a few years so well done to all those involved and of course the Astro Pitch is as important now as it was years ago.
Who would you have on your side who is a present member of NSWHC in a full kicking scrapping fight and why?
Bushy….you know me better than that. I’m a lover not a fighter…and a fast runner.
Your ideal weekend?
Pick any of the following combination of events and it would make for a good weekend. Everton victory, Gross 73 in the Monthly Medal, Saturday night Curry with the family, X-Factor on the telly, Sunday morning Coaching with Neston’s future hockey stars, Lady Beswick’s Sunday Roast, Sunday papers, Sky Sports Golf coverage until late and wake up on Monday morning without having to drive to our Head Office in Glasgow!!
Thank you Mr Captain for your time and best of luck for Caldy GC and its centenary this year.
Cheers Bushy. Keep up the good work with The Badgers and The Website.