Beeston Hockey Club – a Brief History – 1907 to 2012
Early Days to 2000
Founded in 1907, Beeston Hockey Club was formed by a number of Nottingham High School Old Boys who lived in Beeston, a suburb of Nottingham.
By 1913/14 they ran 2 teams but in common with many other sports they suspended battle on the field for the real hostilities of the 1stWorld War, most players having volunteered.
Re-forming in 1919/20, they played in two more venues in Beeston before moving, along with other hockey clubs, to the new City Council park at Highfields in 1928/29 where they remained until 1966/67 when they moved to the ground behind the Ferry Boat Inn at Stoke Bardolph on the other side of the City. It was here that the highly successful Beeston Sixes tournament was started in 1972.
The Club ran 2 teams regularly from 1913 to 1957, 3 teams from 1957 to 1966, 4 teams from 1966 to1971 and then 5,6 and 7 teams until they now field 7 Men’s teams and 7 Ladies teams. The Veterans (Old Bees) were founded in 1977 by Andrew Clarke and a Sunday side, the Besoms, played from 1958 to 1992.
After some ten years (in 1977/78) they returned to Highfields, joining with Crimson Ramblers Ladies Hockey Club to form Highfields Sports Club.
Major changes to the ground facilities took place firstly in 1988 with the opening of one of the first artificial sand-based playing surfaces owned by a private club, an initiative led by John Bosworth and Jed Gisborne.
Secondly and even more substantially, three new pitches (including one of the latest water-based surfaces) were put down and the clubhouse re-modelled with substantial financial aid from Sport England and the Lottery Fund – opening completed in 2002.
In 2005 Beeston HC formed a Ladies Section, largely from the former Charnock Ladies HC and in 2008 Beeston Hockey Club and Nottingham Highfields Ladies HC (formed by a merger between Crimson Ramblers and Sherwood Ladies Hockey Clubs in 2002) agreed to merge to form a new Beeston Hockey Club, fielding 8 Mens and 7 Ladies teams.
League Hockey began in the Midlands in 1975/76 with Beeston positioned in Division 3. After fluctuating fortunes, Graham Griffiths and Steve Musson guided the 1stXI into the National League in 1992. Beeston has established itself in both National Outdoor and Indoor Leagues and having reached the English Hockey Cup Final in 1997/98 they went on to represent England in the European Cup Winners Cup in Amsterdam in`1999.
In the early days the Club’s administration was dominated by one name – Frederick. L. (Freddy) Jones. A founder member of the Club, he was Hon. Secretary from 1923 to 1960, Hon. Treasurer from 1923 to 1946 and President from 1947 to 1960/61. He then became the first Patron of the Club until his death in 1976. Then came the era of E.P. (Dick) Tew, Patron from 1977 to 1986 and Stan Allen, both of whom filled a variety of official positions during the ‘50s & ‘60s and 70's. They were followed by Martin Cattaway and David Paton and in the 1980's by John Bosworth, Steve LeMottee and Richard Kirk and then by David Williams as Chairmen of the Club. Peter Hannah, Axel Palmer, Roger Downer and David Williams were Presidents and Peter Hannah was Patron (from 1986 to 2007). Michael Rowen became Patron in 2007.
In 1981 Roger Downer and Sid Williams, assisted later by Pete Fenton, founded the Colts section, so many of whom have gone on to distinction with the 1st team of Beeston and indeed other Clubs. Since then, firstly with Eileen Hartley and then under the direction of Martin and Judith Keeling, they have become enormously successful with many representative and National honours at u-13; u-14; u-15; u-16 and u-18 level. In 2003 the u-18 Boys won the National title and in 2005 and 2006 the u-15 Boys won the National title. A significant Award in 2004 was the England Hockey Club 1st and Sport England Club Mark Accreditation. Mention must also be made of Steve LeMottee who guided juniors into Men’s hockey via the XBs from 1991 to 1998.
The Colts in 2007/08 had a successful season with both under18 and under 15 Boys finishing as runners-up in their respective National competitions and Beeston HC was also awarded Clubs First Reaccreditation – only the fourth club in the UK to achieve this.
Many players have gained representative honours – England internationals Billy West in 1913/14 and Edgar Milward in 1933-35 (both goalkeepers) and J MacMinn played for Scotland. In 2006 Alistair Wilson represented England in the World Cup and David Griffiths, Ollie Cooper, Zak Jones, Matt Simkin, Ben Rogers and Dominic Graham all represented Wales. George Pinner and Ali Wilson were selected for Great Britain in 2007 and Ali Wilson represented GB at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Martin Jones also represented England and GB. David Griffiths was captain of Wales in 2007 and was named National League Player of the Year in 2003 and 2006.
In August 2009 Ali Wilson and Adam Dixon won European Gold Medals playing for England and in 2010 both represented England at the Commonwealth Games in India.
In 2010/11 Ali Wilson; Adam Dixon and George Pinner have all represented England with the two former chosen to represent Great Britain in Malaysia.
In 2011 Ali Wilson, Adam Dixon and George Pinner all represented England and GB in various pre-Olympic tournaments and in 2012 all three were selected for the Olympic training squad with Ali Wilson and George Pinner making the final Olympic selection.
Adam Dixon and George Pinner played for the England Mens Indoor Team and Hollie Webb played for the England Womens Indoor team.
Simon Downer represented England at the 2012 Masters over 40s International tournament (they won, beating both Germany and Australia).
Stephen Leeming, Danny Williams, Keith Reesby, Stephen Wood, Matt Taylor, Andrew West, Scott Cordon, Richard Stamp, Chris Seddon, Stephen Lawrence, Tim Whiteman, Ben Arnold, Mark Wadsley and Adam Dixon played at England u-21 level; Rob Trem played for Wales u-21s and Tom Skinner for England B.
Pakistan Olympic legend, Mohammed Nadeem joined the Bees in 2005 and was instrumental in Beeston’s 1stXI attaining their current level of success.
Two other overseas players (both from Australia) have also had a significant impact on Beeston's success -Craig Keegan (1995-2000) and Andrew Monte (2009-2011).
Although never receiving international honours, Fred Wagner has a very special record – at the time of his retirement he had scored the most goals in a playing career by any hockey player. In 36 seasons playing from 1923/24 to 1959/60 he scored 1834 goals in 1239 appearances for Beeston, Notts and Notts Casuals.
Year 2000 to 2010
After 3 seasons in the Premiership, Beeston were relegated to Division 1 in 2000 and narrowly missed promotion back to the Premiership for 6 seasons. As the superb new facilities at Highfields Hockey Centre were being constructed, so too was a young Beeston side, led on the field since 1994/95 by Stephen Wood, that was to emerge and grow with the success of Highfields Sports Club.
In 2006, Beeston, playing as the Nottinghamshire County team, won the National County Championship (for the first time in 49 years of the competition). In addition, as the Centenary year approached, the Club regained their Premier League status with a remarkable comeback to defeat Old Loughtonians in the play-offs in June 2006.
The outstanding highlight of the 2007/08 Centenary Season was undoubtedly the capture of the Hockey Association Cup after a most exciting final against Bowdon at Highfields when Beeston won 4 – 3 with David Griffiths scoring the vital goal 4 minutes from time.
For 2008/09 the Mens 1stXI, now captained by Stephen Lawrence, after a most exciting finish came third in the National League which led them to a place in the Euro Hockey League for season 2009/10 – a splendid achievement by any standards.
Somewhat disappointingly, after failing to take many chances to score, they lost their third HC Cup Final 3 – 1 to Reading HC..
Beeston Hockey Club 1st team had a hugely successful year in 2009/2010 maintaining their position as one of the top two hockey teams in the country. Their playing record in 2009/2010 saw them win the England Hockey Cup for the second time in three years with a 2-1 victory over Hampstead and Westminster.
In the league they were 10 minutes away from winning only to squander a 4-1 lead to East Grinstead to draw 4-4 and eventually losing on penalty flicks.
They returned to European competition performing brilliantly to reach the last 16 in Europe before losing narrowly and thus just missing out on reaching the European Quarter Finals.
Also in 2009/10 Beeston Mens 2nd XI (Beeston Swarm) began their campaign in the new Midlands Challenge League in style and eventually finished third.
Season 2010 to 2011
The 2010/11 Season was without doubt the most successful ever for the Club as a whole.
The Men's 1st XI retained the England Hockey Cup, beating Doncaster 6-2 in the final and also achieved the double by winning the League Championship by beating East Grinstead 2-1 in the play-offs. In European Competition theyreached the quarter-finals, in itself a major achievement where they were narrowly defeated by the Dutch side HGC.
The Men's 2nd XI won their League Championship and also the 2nd XI Cup, beating Southgate 3-2 with David Griffiths scoring a hat-trick.
The Men's 4th XI were their League Champions.
The Ladies 1st XI maintained their status in the Womens Conference North League and the Ladies 2nd XI won promotion to the Midlands Premier League. The Ladies 3rd XI won the Notts Womens Hockey League knock-out Cup and the 4th XI won their League and gained promotion to the Notts Premier League.
It was also a great year for the Juniors. The U-18 Boys were National Champions as were the U-16 Boys. The U-18 and U-16 Girls also reached their National Quarter-finals.
In Indoor Competition the Men's 1st XI gained the silver medal and retained their Premier Division status for 2011/12 and the Girls U-18s were National Indoor Champions.
Season 2011 -2012.
In April 2012 the replacement sand dressed pitch was opened and ambitious plans for a major hockey centre at Highfields were revealed.
In March 2012, as a result of the fantastic success at all levels in the Club, at the annual English Hockey Board Awards Beeston Hockey Club was named Harvester Club of the Season.
Both Beeston Mens and Ladies 1st elevens were named teams of the year by the City of Nottingham and Broxtowe BC with the Boys u-16 team being named Junior team of the year also.
The Mens 1st XI won the England Hockey Cup for the third consecutive season, beating Hampstead and Westminster 2 – 1 . ( Special mention to George Pinner for several outstanding saves at the end of the game).
After coming second in the Premiership they secured second place in the play-offs which means that once again they will represent England in the Euro Hockey league in 2012/13.
In 2012 they also reached the last eight knock-out stage in the Euro Hockey League, beating Club Campo de Madrid 2 – 1 but later losing out to a very good UHC Hamburg team.
At Indoor competition the Mens 1st team squad were runners-up, again retaining their position in the premier league for next year.
In addition the Mens Swarm (2nd XI) won their Challenge League and the Mens 3rd XI won the Midlands Premier League title.
The Ladies 1st XI had a wonderful season, winning the Ladies Conference North League against very strong opposition and in the process becoming the highest goal scorers in all the Ladies National Leagues. Unfortunately they narrowly failed to achieve promotion at the play-offs.
At Junior level, the U-18 girls won both Outdoor and Indoor titles. The u-12 girls were runners-up nationally and in the summer mini-hockey events at u-10, u-12 and u-14 levels for both boys and girls they won 12 out of 13 tournaments.
An incredible season, even beating the success recorded in 2010/11.
We are in the process of collecting more photos, press cuttings and memorabilia, particularly from the 1990s onwards. All information would be very welcome. Please contact Adrian Lawson on 0115 9256545 or e-mail :- email@example.com