Although there are press reports of a 4-0 "Hampstead" victory over Richmond in December 1874, probably achieved by the Hockey section of Hampstead Cricket Club, Hampstead Hockey Club was formed on 13th April 1894, when its members disaggregated from the Cricket Club, seeking a better playing surface after complaints of frequently waterlogged pitches - a perennial problem that dogged the Club until the mid-1980s, when it moved to Paddington.
1st XI 1904-05Starting its games at Elms Farm in Acton, the Club soon moved to Richmond Athletic Ground. This was regarded as a temporary measure but remained in place for 44 years until the Second World War. In the early days, cricketers of quality joined from Hampstead Cricket Club and quickly formed a strong playing basis for the Club that led to the so-called Glory Days between 1900 and 1913, when it was pre-eminent in England. One such player was A E Stoddart, who also captained England both at Rugby and Cricket. Another was Stanley Shoveller, described as the "Prince of Centre Forwards" who won 29 caps for England and two Gold Olympic medals, a prodigious scorer of probably 500 goals for the Club and 79 in his 29 international appearances. The Hampstead team of 1910/11 included no fewer than 5 English internationals.
The First World War took its ubiquitous toll, with the death of 6 members and the Club unable to fulfil its fixtures. The 1920 Olympics did see three Hampstead players in the Gold medal winning team, Shoveller, Jack Bennett and CTA Wilkinson: another, CSW Marcon, joined the Club shortly afterwards. Thereafter, despite representative honours (including Club full backs who opposed each other as English and Welsh captains in 1924) the Club lost its pre-war dominance and results slipped. However a 4th XI was being run in 1928, requiring a second pitch.
The Second World War also saw the Club unable to play. It only re-grouped in 1950, a feat achieved after strenuous efforts, prominently by Ruari Milsted (described as the greatest player not to have played for England) and with the support of Purley HC for whom several ex-Hampstead players were then playing. The Club re-started at Hampstead CC's ground in Lymington Road, West Hampstead with a match against Teddington 2nd XI. Pitches remained a problem and after four years the Club moved to Brondesbury. Soon results began to improve, to the extent that by 1955/56 they were on a par with those before 1913. At full strength the team included 5 internationals.
Then in 1957 the Club was given notice to quit and, after a hectic search, secured two pitches at Boston Manor, returning to West London after 63 years. This move coincided with another downturn in the Club's playing record and two years later it joined the Hornsey Club in Crouch End, having successfully played Summer Hockey there. This remained the Club's home until 1988.
The Club's membership had striven hard by fund raising efforts to procure good quality grass pitches at Hornsey with drainage works that ultimately were not successful. It often used artificial pitches in order to fulfil fixtures, including the shale pitch at the neighbouring school and at Coram's Fields in Euston, an early Avon rubber surface as well as pitches at Market Road in Islington, New River Stadium at Wood Green and for a brief period at Parkside Leisure Centre in Cricklewood. Through its tireless then Secretary Norman Borrett, the Club gained a toe-hold at Paddington Recreation Ground, beginning its fixtures there in 1984 and after a second artificial surface was laid, moving there permanently: in recognition it resolved to change its name to Hampstead & Westminster. The Club temporarily joined Paddington Sports Club as social members for post match hospitality but in 1995 adopted the adjacent Carlton Tavern as its Clubhouse, thanks to the generosity of Club President, Peter Boizot.
Having played games of mixed hockey, the Club eventually fully embraced the Women's game by forming a Women's section in 1986. The Women' section was immediately successful and established five teams within a decade. The Women's 1st XI secured rapid promotion through the Middlesex League to participate in the South League, the stepping stone to the National League.
Although a founder member of the London League in 1969, the Men's 1st XI's results were not impressive in the 1960s and 1970s and despite a strong showing in the early part of 1983, did not qualify for inclusion in the newly formed National League. Always a strong supporter of the block fixtures studiously built up with traditional opponents in the London area over the years, the Club sought to retain the spirit of the London League arrangements. However, it bowed to the inevitable and in 1986 and with prompting from Peter Boizot, secured the appointment of Australian Greg Carr as player coach (whose wife Tracy coached and became an influential member of the Women's 1st XI). Greg's efforts led to an immediate improvement in results and, ultimately, after his return "down under", the championship of the South League in 1993. This was followed by promotion to and two years' participation in the National League, sadly followed by relegation after the sudden death of team Manager, Sam Taylor. However, under the guidance of player coach and Great Britain international Rob Thompson, immediate promotion back to the National League was secured in 1997.
On its return, the team followed the same experience in its first two seasons, narrowly avoiding relegation in 1999. The club then appointed Soma Singh, another Hockey Olympian, as its player coach. This led to successive championships of Divisions Two and One and promotion to the Premier League in 2001. Under Todd Williams, the 1st XI's record improved and in 2004, it participated in the Premier League Play Offs for the first time.
The club continued to expand as competitive London League hockey extended to the Men's 8th XI (as well as the Veterans' XI) and witnessed the admission of a touring team to represent the Club in Division 3B of the League, bringing the total number of Men's teams to 12 (including the Super Veterans). The Club's leading teams prospered in the higher divisions and the 5th XI won the Championship of Division 5A in 2000. In 2004 the Club was represented by six teams on the Finals Day of the London League Championships.
The Club also sponsored, through the generosity of Club President Peter Boizot, the laying of a water based pitch at Paddington Recreation Ground. A new sand-based surface was also provided for the caged pitch. In 2001 a successful campaign led to the installation of lighting to the water based pitch in the hope of improving access for evening skills' training. This coincided with an increase in demand in the use of floodlit facilities in the City of Westminster and the emergence of a need to forge closer links with the local community. Efforts to promote youth hockey tended to flounder for lack of interest but revived in 2003 with the aid of Lottery funding.
The Women's' 1st XI secured promotion to the South League (the stepping stone to the National League) in 1999 but discovered a more intense level of competition and, following relegation, consolidated its position in the Middlesex League. Cup success was more readily achieved. After an appearance at the National Stadium in 1998 in the semi finals, the 1st XI were Runners Up in the final of the EHA National Women's Trophy Competition in 2003.
In 2002 the Club appointed a new President, following Peter Boizot's retirement from Club affairs and he was appointed President Emeritus. This was followed shortly by the decision to convert the ownership of the Club into a company limited by guarantee with all members becoming shareholders. The Club had also established a website and began encouraging communication by e-mail, including the posting on the website of team selections, results and match reports, replacing a printed Handbook and Fixture Card.
In 2005 the club was the London League Club of the Year for the first time - reflecting the outstanding success of men's teams throughout the club.
In 2006 the Women’s 1st XI went one better than 2003 and won the EH Trophy final in thrilling fashion. The Men's 1st XI finished 5th in the EHL Premier Division and the Men's 2nd XI won the London League Premier Division without losing a game.
In 2008, Richard Chapman stood down as Club Chairman after several years’ service and Club supporter in many ways and was succeeded by Oz Rankin, who led the campaign to fund and secure a new water-based surface at PRG.
The Men’s 1st XI captain Dan Fox was selected by England and went on to represent England and Great Britain, culminating in appearances in two Olympic Games, the first club player in the 2012 tournament to play in an Olympic Games for Great Britain since Jim Deegan in 1964.
The club continued to attract players and playing results improved, particularly in the London League, when in 2014 five of the eight Leagues were won by the club. The Women’s side also grew. A 7th XI played in the Middlesex League in 2006. The Women’s 1st XI were promoted to the South League 1 in 2007 that they won in 2015, giving access to the National League. Veterans hockey also expanded, with the additional formation of teams for Supervets and Grand Masters and were again prominent in European touring.
In 2011 interest in the Men’s National League indoor championships was rekindled and led in quick succession to winning Division 2. Promotion was also secured to Division 1 and in 2018, the club was promoted to the Premier Division. In the National Cup, the Men’s 1st XI were finalists in three years out of four but runners-up in each case. The Women’s 1st XI took the same competition by storm in 2014 when as a non-National League side, they played Surbiton in the final, having beaten National League opposition in preceding games.
The Men’s 2nd XI dominated the London League Premier Division for more than a decade. In the five seasons to 2018, they won the Division - other than in 2015/16, when they came second.
Interest in Youth Hockey was rejuvenated and then transformed under the leadership of Alex Smart, who masterminded the recruitment of young players once thought inaccessible. By 2017 she had procured a greater number of players than in the adult section. The Club quickly participated in local leagues for all ages, a feat once thought unattainable, given the Club’s location and adult member profiles.
The Club had always striven for National League representation for the Women’s section. This was finally achieved in the 2014-15 season after success in winning the South League. After impressive performances in the East Conference led by Annebeth Wijtenburg, the recruitment of players of quality and experience led to the winning of the Conference at the end of the 2017-18 season, when the team were undefeated. They were, however, denied a place in the Premier Division in the Play-Offs.
In the Men’s section, the recruitment as coach of Kwan Browne, winner of more than 300 caps for Trinidad and Tobago, saw an improvement in results for the 1st XI, who were fourth in successive seasons and earned a place in the Premier Division League Finals held at Lee Valley. In 2018 the team contested the final and held Surbiton to a 3-3 draw only to lose in sudden death of a penalty shoot-out.
Later that year, Will Calnan became the third Hampstead player after Luther Vye in the 1950’s and Harry Gibson to represent Great Britain before selection for England.
Timeline / Chronology
1874 Records of an Old Deer Park fixture, resulting in Richmond 0, Hampstead 4
1890 Hampstead Cricket Club records the playing of Hockey
1894 Hampstead Hockey Club is formed as players seek better quality pitches
1895 E Broadie Hoare MP is elected Club President
1896 Accounts reveal 34 full members' subscriptions of ¬£1.1.0d and income of ¬£35-14-0d
1897 J C Toller of the Hockey Club scores 206 (at No 8) in cricket match v Hampstead CC
1898 S H Shoveller elected to membership of Hampstead Hockey Club
1899 Wins of 7-3 and 7-1 against Hawks and Surbiton and 7-1 & 6-1 against Blackheath
1900 Mr McMillin argues at length for the substitution of alcoholic liquors for tea
1907 Playing record achieved of P20, W17, D2, L1, Goals For 74, Goals Against 24
1908 Shoveller ("The Prince of Centre Forwards") wins Gold Medal at the Olympic Games
1910 Playing record of P27, W22, D4, L1, Goals For 120, Goals Against 32
1914 Concluded that it is impossible to fulfil fixtures owing to the state of war: Club closes
1919 Club revives; Annual Dinner held at Cafe Royal with six courses and costs 11/6 each
1920 Shoveller wins second Gold Olympic medal
1922 Shoveller retires as a player having scored 79 goals in 29 internationals
1924 J H Bennett and Lampard Vacherell oppose each other as English and Welsh Captains
1928 Club produces formal Rules
1937 Laurie Barnard presents the Club with a silver Loving Cup in memory of his Wife
1939 With War imminent, January's Committee meeting is the last for the next 11 seasons
1950 After Ruari Milsted's efforts, the Club restarts with a 1-1 draw against Teddington II
1953 I A C Hayward is Hampstead's first post-War International player
1954 The Club moves to Brondesbury Cricket Club's ground off Cricklewood Broadway
1955 Ist XI has five internationals and a playing record of W16, D2, L3, For 72, Against 23
1957 Brondesbury CC give Notice to Quit and the Club moves to West Ealing Sports Club
1959 Hampstead moves, again, to play at the Hornsey Club in Tivoli Road, Crouch End
1960 Ruari Milstead retires as Club President
1964 Jim Deegan represents Great Britain at the Tokyo Olympics
1965 Club secures an unparalleled five year tenancy Agreement with the Hornsey Club
1966 Club Rules are revised and Honorary Memberships are proposed
1969 London League is formed and Hampstead plays its first league fixture with Hounslow
1972 Nick Coleman appointed 3rd XI Captain after Peter Bell agrees to be 2nd XI skipper
1975 Ist XI fails to win a London League fixture
1976 Club formally amalgamates with the Hornsey Club as its Hockey section
1978 Playing member's subscription is set at ¬£22.00
1980 Training Sessions take place at Hornsey School for Girls from 8.00pm until 10.00pm
1982 Hampstead plays its first games at Paddington Recreation Ground's artificial surface
1984 After several seasons of mixed Hockey, the Club votes to open a Women's section
1988 Greg Carr, appointed as Coach, arrives from Australia with wife Tracy
1989 Hampstead severs its links with Hornsey, moves to Paddington and changes its name
1991 Men's 1st XI misses out on goal difference on promotion to National League
1993 In its Centenary Year, the Men's 1st XI wins the South League and NHL Play Offs
1995 Although 3rd in October, 1st XI is relegated from the NHL. Ist XI manager Sam Taylor dies
1996 Rob Thompson joins Hampstead from Hounslow as the Men's 1st XI coach
1997 1st XI wins the South League undefeated and is promoted to the National League
1998 1st XI finishes 5th in National League Division One, its best place to date
1999 Soma Singh is appointed Men‚Äôs 1st XI Coach
2000 Matt Hetherington wins Leading Goalscorer award in National League Division Two
2001 Men‚Äôs 1st XI wins National League Division One and is promoted to the Premier Division
2002 Peter Boizot is appointed as President Emeritus and Guy Mayers takes over as President.
2003 Club becomes a company limited by guarantee. Todd Williams appointed Men's 1st XI coach
2004 Club of Year title in London League - 5 Men‚Äôs teams in the London League Finals competition
2005 Women‚Äôs 1st XI wins the EHA Trophy competition. Men's 1st XI 5th in EHL Premier League
2006 Welsh caps: Zak and Huw Jones, Ed Bevan, Andy Cornick, Ben Rogers, Josh Smith, Matt Simkin
2007 1st XIs: Women - promoted to South Div 1; Men - Soma Singh rejoins and takes over as coach
2010 Todd Williams re appointed Men's 1st XI coach and leads the team to EHA Cup Final.
2011 Men’s 1st XI win Division Two of the National League Indoor Championships
2012 Dan Fox represents Great Britain at the London Olympics
2013 Men's 1st XI are runners up in the EHA Cup Final
2014 Women’s 1st XI contest the EHA Cup Final as a non-National League side..
2015 Ladies' 1st XI win promotion to the National League East Conference. Kwan Browne appointed coach of the Men’s 1st XI
2016 Thea Hitchcock appointed a Manager of the Wales Senior Men’s team.
2017 Men’s 1st XI are fourth in the Premier Division and earn a place in the League Finals
2018 Ladies's 1st XI win East Conference. Men’s 1st XI draw 3-3 with Surbiton in the Premier Division Legue Final, losing a sudden death penalty shoot out.