Cheltenham Hockey Club History

Welcome to the CHC History page - we hope that as you read this, you will be prompted to send in your memories and knowledge of our club's history.

We have split this page into 4 areas:

CHC History

Founded in 1887, Cheltenham Hockey Club (CHC) is 129 years old. The earliest reference to a CHC is in an article in the Cheltenham Examiner of October 1898. In 1904, a left winger, H S Slade became the first club player to win international honours appearing for England against Wales.

The club had a chequered history around that time and on at least two occasions it nearly died. The second of these was during the First World War. Afterwards it was set up by J A Lovell, who was to be a leading force in the club in the post war years. At one time he was both captain and secretary and retained the latter post for 15 years. During this period, the club ran 3 Men's, two Ladies and the now famous Wednesday XI.

The annual subscription was one guinea and match fees were 2s 6d for the men's 1st XI. At that time the club seems to have taken its social affairs very seriously; the highlight being the annual Dinner Dance when one year, it was reputed that the attendance totalled some 600 people.

During this period Cheltenham players won International Honours notably E S Hoare who won 30 England caps between 1926 and 1937.

By 1957 CHC was fielding 2 Men's and 2 Ladies teams on a Saturday and a midweek men's Wednesday XI. There were no Leagues, games were just played for enjoyment. Fixture meetings were held on a Monday at a coffee bar in the Prom. Teams were selected and the selection cards were sent by post as few people had phones. Also very few ladies had access to a car so ordinary buses were used to get to away games!

The post war years saw Cheltenham consolidate itself into one of the strongest clubs in Gloucestershire helped in the 1950s by D J Carnill, a full back who won 45 England caps and captained Great Britain at the Rome Olympics in 1960.

League Hockey came to the West of England in 1978 and Cheltenham were runners up in the first two years of the premier Division (78/79 and 79/80). The winning of the Premier Division of the Sun Life West Hockey League in 1990/1991 gave the 1st XI automatic promotion into Division 2 of the National League.

Recent History

In more recent times, CHC has taken part in a successful Lottery Bid alongside Balcarras School. CHC has been based at the school since 2002 and the Club now boasts some of the best facilities in the local area with changing rooms, bar and catering facilities next to the pitch. Since the move to Balcarras, the Club has seen a team(s) promoted into higher leagues nearly every season.

  • 2003 - Ladies 3s
  • 2004 - Ladies 1s
  • 2005 - Ladies 2s
  • 2006 - Men's 1s
  • 2007 - Men's 2s/3s/3As
  • 2008 - Ladies 2s
  • 2009 - Ladies 3s/3As
  • 2010 - Men's 1s/2s, Ladies 2s

Memorable Moments

"Paramount is the Hockey Club Dance of January 1961. At the last minute I asked Pam, the Dean Close Headmaster's Secretary, if she would like to come as my partner. It was hugely successful, and I am hugely indebted to Bill Morris and the hockey Club for that, since Pam and I have been very happily married almost ever since."

Denys Carnill, CHC VP

Amusing Episodes

  • Playing Blockley and having to chase sheep off the pitch

  • A strike had taken place by the groundsmen in Cheltenham and the grass was getting long so a local farmer brought his tractor along and cut the grass before playing

  • Playing Painswick Hockey Club and somebody shouting "Can somebody remove the dog pooh"

  • The sight of John Webb scoring a hat trick in 1988...the 1st XI were 0-2 down 10 minutes or so into the second half against Exeter University and Tony Croucher summoned the 12th man Webby (no rolling subs then) . JW calmly placed his half smoked cigarette on the side of the pitch and walked on, looking for all the world like a man with asthma who'd just run a marathon - at least that is what the students thought. 10 minutes later Cheltenham were 3-2 up and several Exeter players had been left on their arses whilst the ex-England international had - literally - walked through their defence. Never have I seen a ball hit harder into a net - nor an opposition looked more bewildered

  • Great game was Castlers versus Marlborough 4th XI, who had three 1st XI players and three 2nd XI players as games had been cancelled...1-1 with a goal from "Sniffer" Tony Bees and one man down for the last 15 minutes when Fred Croxton had to leave the field for 5 stitches in a head wound - he was fined severely for lack of moral fibre and commitment

Players Players

"In my first few seasons, one side of the forward line consisted of Meg Shaylor at centre, myself at left inner and Joan Mayer at left wing. We worked instinctively often swapping places as the need arose without even thinking about it."

Cairine Lee, CHC VP

"For sheer talent - Neil Cunningham. For absolute commitment to the Club - Neil's Dad, Andy Cunningham and Sara Hemming. For total determination to win (Men) - Gary Tredgett. For total determination to win (Women) - Liz Holding (nee Bradley). For making me deaf in my right ear - Bill Hews (me at left half, Bill at left back)"

John Hepworth, CHC VP