Tim, thanks for doing this interview, because you have been in Poland the last couple of weeks with work. I am sure work family and being Club Captain are demanding roles.
When did you start playing Hockey?
Early 80’s I think when I was about 2 !! I started at about 13 or 14 when my dad was heavily involved with the hockey section. Before that I played quite a lot of football, but by the time I reached 14 it seemed to be more about kicking people off the park; and consequently my George Bestesque skills were not allowed to shine !!
Who did you play for?
My 1st hockey games were for Pensby School & Neston 6’s (Tony Lydiate’s invincible mish-mash of tennis, cricket and squash players with a smattering of junior new starts). The badgers didn’t start until a few years later.
Pensby School had a great guy (deputy head) named Glynn Davies who arrived about the same time as I did. He was a hockey addict who was a driving force behind North Wales hockey & in particular Northop Hall Hockey Club. He kick started hockey at Pensby, and whilst never at the level of the Calday & Birkenhead Schools, because of him a generation of children took up the game (a number have been or are in the Neston SW ranks).
I think I started on the wing but quickly people realised that whilst I could run, my skills would be better utilised out of the opposition D. So moved to a right half, central defensive role. Can remember playing right half for the 2’s when about 17 we went through a season unbeaten only drawing once, it helped a lot of course that half the 2nd team were county players !!
What book are you reading at the moment?
I’m into the classics - currently Shoot Annual 1976, and The Little Red Train series by the marvellous Benedict Blathwayt; boy can he write a story. My favourite is I think The Great Big Little Red Train – which I’ve read 18 times since Christmas.
What is your favourite film?
Again I’m a traditionalist - something like Spot’s Magical Christmas or the Aristocats. They always bring a tear to my eye during the 7th showing in a week.
What position do you play at the moment?
Left hand side midfield, left defence or indeed any place on the pitch where I cannot do damage to my own team and does not cause the opposition defence to laugh when I reach their D.
Who is the best player you have played with or against?
I trained and played, the occasional friendly game, with the 1sts when in the National League. Just about all of them were county or international players. I would have to say that it actually was quite easy because all you had to do was stop it (the tricky bit) and roll a 5 yard pass to one of the many superstars who would do the hockey bit !!
I think though that the 2 who stand out with whom I played regularly; and bare in mind that they were on their way down after playing 1’s; were Robbie Smith & Andy Rowntree. Robbie (England International & well - - legend) was an awesome goal scorer & Rowno the best passer & reader of the game that I played with. It was actually a bit embarrassing me captaining these guys as “what did I know” !!
Top Tip in Hockey?
Don’t forget your stick!
What other sports played?
Played football at school & Eastham Junior League.
Up until about 3 years ago played a lot of cricket for Neston. Cricket was probably my major sport until about 20( they had to raise the height of the nets such was the flight I gave the ball !) actually represented the 1st team in a couple of cup matches. Made a fantastic 2 not out in 1 game if my memory serves me right !!
Currently no time to do anything else !
What Music do you like?
Middle of the road, anything ,though I suppose like most people Showaddy Waddy & Jefferson Airplane feature heavily in my vinyl collection. I must admit that following a Neston SW win I do sometimes really let my hair down and crank up the Horton Weavers or Val Doonican whilst driving down Parkgate front.
Whats it like playing Hockey with your Brother?
I would imagine that it’s the highlight of his hockeying career though for me I find it difficult to keep on having to carry him through games – he is 6 years younger after all !!
What is it like having your Dad umpire you?
I tend to try and ignore the fact that he can’t see and just get on with it.
Who would you want in a fight on your side, from NSWHC.
I’ve always been a 100% er so I suppose the likes of Lee Robinson or Matty Thompson come to mind. People who will give their all whatever the situation. It would be handy though if Dave Swaine was still at the club !
Future for NSWHC?
I think that a lot depends on our junior set up and being able to “ produce” good youngsters year after year to replace those that leave for university,etc. I also believe that it’s important to have the right social/fun side so that we can attract players at all levels as without senior players coming in the juniors will find it harder to develop. Could also do with an international or two of course !
My 5 year target, set last year, was for each team to progress 2 divisons. The 3’s & 4’s have already moved up 1 division and hopefully we can see further progress from all teams.
Of course my other ambition like most other Neston Hockey people is for us to be playing our games back at Parkgate, for all the benefits that will bring, not just to the hockey section or NCC but to the wider community.
I know you’ve always wanted a Hornby Signal Box for Christmas, and sadly you were let down again this year, however, what would be your ideal belated Christmas gift for the Shrimps in 2007 ?.
Along with one of Fraser’s movie classics, and an Eddie Byrnes 1st team appearance; for the 1st XI to be playing in the North League & the club to keep progressing in an upwards direction.
Thanks Tim I am sure one of the above is possible, only Eddie is very loyal to the 5th Team, best of Luck with the rest of the season.