Beeston Hockey Club – a Brief History – 1907 to 2015/16
In the 2015/16 season the men’s 1st team finished 6th in the England Hockey Men’s Premier League. The team won their 5th EH Cup final which took place at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre on 1st May 2016 against Chichester HC. The score was 3-0 to the Bees with 2 goals from Richard Lawrence and 1 from Stuart Pilgrim. Unfortunately we were relegated from the Indoor Premier League but will be fighting for promotion next season. David Ames, Adam Dixon, Mark Gleghorne Harry Martin, Gordon McIntyre, Tim Whiteman and Ollie Willars were all part of the England and Great Britain central programme based at Bisham Abbey.
In the 2015/16 season the ladies 1st team finished 4th in the Investec Women’s Conference North League. The team reached the third round of the Investec Cup where they lost to Birmingham University. The women re-entered the indoor competition for the first time in a few years and after winning the Midlands Qualifier, we progressed to National Division 2, where they finished 5th. Many of the teams’ younger players achieved national age group representation. The team also finished top of the umpires match ratings for hospitality and enjoyment. The club would like to thank departing coach Gareth Hall for his efforts over the last two seasons. Colin Clarke was appointed coach for the 2016/17 season.
Iain Randall represented England Over 40’s in the World Cup in Australia in April 2016. They reached the final only to lose to Australia in the dying minutes of the game.
Congratulations to the men’s 5th team who won their league on the last game of the season and to the ladies 6th team who reached the final of the Notts Women’s Shield and finished runners up.
The U16 and U18 Girls retained the England Hockey National Indoor titles. The U18 boys finished runners-up at the National Indoor finals.
The U18 Girls retained their National Title in May 2016.
42 Boys and Girls were selected for JRPC tier 2 activities; 11 of these were selected for the NAGS academies representing England at junior level.
An eventful season.
The Mens 1st XI came 4th in the Now Pensions Premier Division losing to East Grinstead and Surbiton in the playoffs. Having reached the last 16 in the Euro Hockey League they were beaten by the Belgian club, Royal Daring.
On the plus side David Ames was voted Player of the Year by the other players in the Premier Division.
After 29 wonderfully successful years Graham Griffiths stepped down as 1st XI Manager having brought Beeston from a mediocre Midlands side to the heights of Premier League Champions, England Hockey Cup winners and representing England in Europe.
Steve Musson, previously Assistant Manager, has been appointed in his place.
The Mens 1st XI secured an all-time record in the England Hockey Cup when they beat Hampton in Arden 25 – nil in the third round.
The Mens 2nd I won the national 2nd IX Plate Final and the 3rd XI secured promotion to the Midlands 3rd XI Premier Division.
The Ladies 1st XI had a very difficult year. The loss of key players and coaching/managerial issues led to their relegation to the Conference North Division.
In contrast the Ladies 2nd XI, having come third in their League won the Ladies 2nd XI Cup, beating Surbiton on penalties.
After several successful years James Hopkisson resigned as Ladies 1st XI manager and is replaced by Chris Glover. A new coach will also be appointed.
On the Junior side, after the most successful season ever Martin and Judith Keeling retired after over 20 years of almost continuous success.
This year saw the Boys u-18 as National runners –up; the Boys u-16 as National Champions; the Girls u-18 as National Champions and the u-16 Girls as National runners –up. The u-14 Boys were also National Champions.
At the Indoor competitions the u-16 and u-18 Girls and the u-16 Boys were all National Champions. Beeston were the only club to reach all u-16 and u-18 finals.
Julie Airey has been appointed Junior Co-ordinator.
A major administrative change (in order to address certain financial and taxation issues) took place with the setting up of Beeston Hockey Club as a Limited Company. Five Directors (Richard Butler, BHC Chairman; Andy Smith, Secretary; Adam Milsom, Treasurer; Graham Griffiths and David Griffiths) were elected at the AGM.
The existing water-based pitch will be re-furbished and an additional water-based pitch, in partnership with Nottingham University, will be in place for the start of the 2015/16 season.
A new system for the collection of membership fees and match tax has been put in place – this will substantially improve the finances of the Club.
The coaching structure and personnel for both Adult and Junior Sections is being reviewed with the aim of supporting the continuing success of the club and promoting the strategy of “Sport for All”.
At the highly enjoyable Annual Dinner and Awards evening, following an initiative by Graham Griffiths the Club raised more than £9000 for the new Pitch Fund.
Seasons 2010 to 2013/14
In 2010/11 the Mens 1st XI retained the England Hockey Cup beating Doncaster 6 – 2 in the final and won the League championship by beating East Grinstead 2 – 1 in the play-offs. In European competition they reached the quarter finals, where they were narrowly defeated by the Dutch side HGC.
The Mens 2nd XI won their League Championship and 2nd XI Cup beating Southgate 3 – 2 with David Griffiths scoring a hat-trick.
The Mens 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 winning the Notts Womens Hockey League knock-out Cup and the 4th XI won their league and gained promotion to the Notts Ladies Premier League.
It was also a great year for the Juniors. The u-18 and u-16 Boys were both National Champions and the u-18 and u-16 Girls both reached their National Quarter Finals.
In Indoor competition the Mens 1st XI gained the silver medal and retained their Premier Division status for 2011/12 and the Girls U -18s were National Champions.
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, at the annual English Hockey Board Awards, Beeston Hockey Club was named Harvester Club of the Season.
Both Beeston Mens and Ladies 1st XIs were named Teams of the Year by the City of Nottingham and Broxtowe BC.
The Mens 1st XI won the England Hockey Cup for the third consecutive season, beating Hampstead and Westminster 2 – 1
After coming second in the Premiership they secured second place in the play-offs which means that once again they would 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 the next year.
The Ladies 1st XI won the Investec 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.
In 2013 the Ladies Ist XI became Womens Conference North Champions and thus gained promotion to the Investec Premier League.
The Ladies 2nd & 3rd XIs won their respective leagues.
Ellie Watton and Hollie Webb were selected for England.
Alastair Wilson, Harry Martin and George Pinner were named in the 2012 Olympic squad.
The Men’s Ist XI won the “Now Pensions” Premier League by 11 points and went on to become League Champions – beating Surbiton 5 – 1 in the play-off final and secured Euro League Hockey for 2013/14
In the Euro Hockey League the Men’s Ist XI reached the quarter finals once again, beating East Grinstead 3-2 in extra time but eventually losing to the winners, Bloemendaal.
Adam Dixon captained England and was named “ Now Pensions” Player of the Year.
Simon Egerton won the top goalscoring award and six of the Men’s Ist XI were contracted for the England Training Squad – Ben Arnold, Adam Dixon, Harry Martin, George Pinner, Tim Whiteman and Ollie Willars.
Ben Arnold, Adam Dixon, Harry Martin, George Pinner, Michael Hoare, Simon Egerton and Ollie Willars all represented England at the Super 9s and Champions Trophy Tournament in Australia in Nov, 2012.
The Men’s Ist XI were named Team of the Season and the Now Pensions Junior Award went to Harry Martin.
At the end of the Season there were several changes in the coaching set-up with Matt Taylor being appointed Technical Director to oversee all aspects of coaching throughout the club at both Senior and Junior level. He took over as Men’s Ist XI head coach from Martin Jones who played a crucial part in moving the team forward both on and off the field. Under his leadership the team reached the quarter final stage in the Euro Hockey League for three seasons, won two England Hockey Cup titles and two Premier League Championship titles.
In season 2013/14 the Mens Ist XI won the League Championship play-offs, beating East Grinstead in a penalty shoot-out and thereby securing qualification for the Euro Hockey League again. They also reached the last 16 in the Euro Hockey League finals in April but lost narrowly to the Belgian side Waterloo Ducks.
The Ladies Ist XI retained their National Premier League status finishing 7th.
The Ladies 2nd XI became Midlands Premier League Champions for the second year running and the Ladies 6th XI won promotion to the Notts Womens League Div. 2.
At the Annual Hockey Writers Higgins Awards evening, Adam Dixon was named UK Player of the Year. Chris Proctor and Rebekah Walker won their respective U-18 Player of the Year Awards.
Beeston Hockey Club was awarded Amateur Club of the Year 2013 by Nottingham City Council and the Mens Ist XI was named Team of the Year 2013.
At the Nottinghamshire Annual Sports Awards for 2013 BHC Mens Ist XI was awarded the Achievement of the Year Award.
At the Nottingham Post Awards Beeston Hockey Club was named Club of the Year 2013.
Again many players secured International recognition – Suzy Petty; Ellie Watton ; Adam Dixon; Harry Martin; Tim Whiteman; Ben Arnold; Ollie Willars and George Pinner for England. Phoebe Richards for Wales. Gordon McIntyre and Gareth Hall for Scotland. Mo Ghandi for USA.
At the Annual Dinner and Awards Evening over £1000 was raised to purchase a defibrillator for the clubhouse.
At the AGM in May Martin Keeling stepped down as Chairman after 5 years and Richard Butler was elected as the new Chairman.
Year 2000 to 2010
In 2000, Beeston were relegated to Division 1 and narrowly missed promotion back to the Premiership for 6 seasons. The superb new facilities at Highfields Hockey Centre were being constructed and a young Beeston side, led on the field since 1994/95 by Stephen Wood gradually emerged to coincide 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, the Club regained their Premier League status beating Old Loughtonians in the play-offs in June 2006.
In the 2007/08 Centenary Season Beeston won 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 1st XI, now captained by Stephen Lawrence, came third in the National League which led them to a place in the Euro Hockey League for season 2009/10. However, they lost their third HA Cup Final 3 – 1 to Reading HC.
In 2009/2010 Beeston Hockey Club Mens 1st team maintained their position as one of the top two hockey teams in the country and they won the England Hockey Cup for the second time in three years with a 2 – 1 victory over Hampstead & 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.
On their return to European competition, they reached the last sixteen before losing narrowly and thus just missing out on reaching the European Quarter Finals.
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 1st World 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) 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 1st XI 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 & ‘70s. They were followed by Martin Cattaway and David Paton and in the 1980s by John Bosworth, Steve LeMottee and Richard Kirk and then by David Williams as Chairmen of the Club. Peter Hannah, Axel Palmer, Roger Downer, David Williams and Ian Sutton were Presidents and Peter Hannah was Patron (from 1986 to 2007). Michael Rowen became Patron in 2007.
We are in the process of collecting more photos, press cuttings and memorabilia, particularly from the 1990s onwards. All information would be very welcome.