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Author: Mark Clews

The future of the Tiger Turf

At the end of another fantastic season, you may notice that the ‘Tiger Turf’ at Pad Rec is in the process of being replaced.  The pitch is owned by Westminster Council and not by Hampstead and Westminster HC.  The Football Foundation invested approx. £1m in around 2007 and with that investment came contractual rights and the ‘Tiger Turf’ surface.

Supported by England Hockey and Sport England we have been negotiating with the Council for years trying to get a hockey suitable surface, but unfortunately have been unable to persuade the Football Association to relinquish their contractual rights and/or compromise on the new surface.  As such a new ‘Tiger Turf’ will be installed over the coming weeks.

England Hockey has issued revised rules regarding the hockey that can be played on these pitches, including limitations on competitive adult league hockey.  This will obviously have an impact on us next season and beyond, however we do have plans in place for the short-term to ensure that we have enough pitch space for us as a club.  We have also been looking at longer term solutions that offer improved pitch opportunities to enable HWHC to continue to grow and provide hockey to all ages and abilities. These opportunities will of course be shared with the club when we have more details to provide.

We hope to see many of you at Lee Valley on April 13/14 for the League Finals with the Men's 1s aiming to become Premier League champions, and our Ladies' 1s in the Play-Offs going for promotion to the Premier League.

Additionally we hope to see most of you at the Annual Club Dinner on the 27th of April.

HWHC President Emeritus Peter Boizot MBE dies aged 89

UPDATE: There will be a private family funeral, and a Memorial Service for Peter will take place on Friday, 8th February in Peterborough Cathedral at 2.00pm.

A considerable number are expected to attend the service.  Those who wish to get into the Cathedral may want to arrive early.

It has been suggested that those attending who may own one, might want to dress in a Club blazer but this presently is under consideration.

The family is organising a reception at the Great Northern Hotel to follow the service and invitations will shortly be sent out.  If you would like to attend the reception, please let Guy Mayers know in the next day or so, as Guy has been asked to liaise with the organisers over hockey guests. Guy may be contacted at guy@mayers.co.uk

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Few hockey clubs can regard themselves as fortunate as us to have included in its membership one so influential and generous as Peter Boizot MBE, for whom hockey remained his prime sporting love.

Peter was born and educated in Peterborough. When he was 18, he went on a three-month foreign exchange programme to experience life with an Italian family where he first encountered pizza. As a vegetarian for Peter, “to eat a pizza with mozzarella with tomato on a pastry base with an olive or two” was ideal.

After national service with the Royal Artillery and the Royal Army Service Corps in Egypt, Peter enrolled at Cambridge University with a Choral Exhibition and was awarded an honours degree in History from St Catharine's College, in 1953.

He later became a salesman for Tiger Toys, selling wooden animals and later the captain of the MV Yarvic. Voyages to Paris led him to jazz at cafés and restaurants: it was the first place where he found pizza readily available and where pizza restaurants were commonplace.

For 10 years, Peter then spent time in Europe, for Nestlé's publicity department in Switzerland and in the news photo department of Associated Press in Rome, combining work as a journalist with selling souvenirs and postcards in the evenings to tourists from a barrow in St Peter's in Vincoli Square. He then worked for Associated Book Distributors, based in Chicago but working from Frankfurt, selling and distributing encyclopaedias and knowledge books to forces personnel in US Army bases.

After a business trip to the headquarters in Chicago, Peter concluded that he could use to better effect the skills he had worked upon in these various jobs and venture out on his own. He was advised that it was impossible to cook a decent pizza in England without a special oven. In Rome he bought one for £600 and shipped it to England, along with an Italian chef to work it.

This led to the acquisition of PizzaExpress Limited, including the name for £10 and burden of repaying £14,000 to creditors. On 29 March 1965, PizzaExpress was born. In addition, Peter approached the manufacturer of Peroni beers in Naples and asked them to allow him to sell Nastro Azzurro in his restaurant.

Expansion followed steadily and then rapidly throughout the '70s, '80s and early '90s through traditional roll-out and, briefly, a franchising model, as the country quickly developed a hunger for pizza.

Peter invented the Pizza Veneziana, which was introduced into the pizza menu with a surcharge for the Venice in Peril Fund. This has contributed over £1 million to the fund. The initiative has been recognised by the Italian Government, which awarded Peter the Cavaliere Ufficiale and Al Merito della Republicana Italiana awards. In Britain, it was also recognised by the Bolla Award for the Briton considered to have done most for Venice.

By 1992, when there was more competition and in a tough economic climate, with the company short of cash, Peter decided to sell up. He continued his other business interests under the flag of the Peter Boizot Group. These included the Great Northern Hotel in Peterborough, Kettner’s restaurant in Soho and the well-known jazz venue, Pizza on the Park, in Knightsbridge.

As a jazz devotee, Peter set up the Soho Jazz Festival and brought music into the Pizza Express network. This tradition spawned the Pizza Express Jazz Club that produced its own newsletter and music listings. His other achievements include founding the Soho Jazz Festival, becoming chairman of the Westminster Chamber of Commerce and being appointed as Deputy Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire.

Peter was twice an unsuccessful parliamentary candidate for the Liberal party in Peterborough.
Alongside his business ventures, Peter donated substantial sums of money to a range of good causes. In 1992, he formed the Peter Boizot Foundation to benefit charitable purposes, institutions and foundations.

Peter’s association with Hampstead Hockey Club followed his election as a member on 3 March 1967. Two years later he was nominated to serve on the Club’s Committee. He played for the Veterans XI and captained the side. He also took on responsibility for clubhouse facilities and organisation of social functions and the like. On more than one occasion he met the cost of improving the showers and changing accommodation.

Peter was also allowed the Selection Committee to meet at Pizza Express in Wardour Street and its facilities to send bulletins and team sheets. In 1975 he donated his first prize in a 200 Draw back to the Club in the name of the Boizot Fund, set aside for sponsoring players from Hampstead who took part in foreign competition.

He supported the hosting of Veterans’ hockey events at Hornsey at the time of the 1986 Hockey World Cup in London and contributed financially in many ways to minor improvements to the pavilion and the Club for that event.

Peter also played a significant part in the decision to move to Paddington Recreation Ground, given his knowledge and experience of dealings with Westminster City Council.

He continued his role as President and sat on the General Committee. He promoted an extension of club Vice Presidents. He supported the call for a paid Administrator to run club affairs and continued to strive for the supply of hockey to ordinary members who might not attain the heights of the Club’s top-ranking teams.

After several years of disappointing results in the lower reaches of the London League, Peter made a somewhat startling suggestion to an Annual General Meeting in 1987 that the Club ought to aim to win the London League in its centenary year. In the next season it finished in 11th place. The National League was formed in 1988 and Hampstead’s attempt to be included in the top ten places to qualify had just fallen short after a promising start. Peter therefore sought the appointment of a discrete coach for the Men’s 1st XI.

This led to the retention of Greg Carr from New South Wales, who arrived in London in 1988 with his wife Tracy, who became an equally important player in the progression of the Women’s section then in its relative infancy. Greg Carr was a player coach who had an enormous impact on the Men’s 1st XI that quickly rose to the higher levels of the South League, the successor to the London League at first team level. The quantum leap taken then that undoubtedly led to the Club’s participation on National League hockey is regarded in no small part to the contribution by Greg. Much of this would not have been possible without Peter’s support.

Peter was instrumental in persuading Westminster City Council to install a second artificial playing surface at Paddington Recreation Ground in place of a grassed football pitch and later contributed through his Foundation in excess of £118,000 to ensure that a water based pitch was laid, given that the Council’s budget then only permitted a renewal of the sand-based surface.

He later encouraged debate with the City of Westminster for the illumination of the second pitch at Paddington Recreation Ground. This was opposed by local residents and seen as virtually unachievable. But Peter was able to persuade local Councillors to obtain fuller use of its facilities and to emphasise the significant improvement in lighting design that had led to more intensity and focus and less waste of flooded light that might affect surrounding housing.

Peter was also a benefactor to both Cambridge and Oxford Universities and, in particular, to his own college, St Catherine’s Cambridge. He provided sponsorship through PizzaExpress of the London League at all its levels for many seasons. He later extended it through Peroni in sponsoring the South League.

As a restaurateur, Peter was eager for the Club to obtain its own clubhouse and to offer facilities to match those of other clubs with their own clubhouses and those of the area surrounding the Recreation Ground. He later acquired the lease of the Carlton Tavern on the northern edge of the Recreation Ground that became the Club’s home until 2014. It was initially run and managed as part of Peter’s business group but later acquired by three members of the club.

In his later years, Peter moved away from his flat in Lowndes Square and removed to his favoured Peterborough, when his business activities began to diminish in retirement. He was appointed the Club’s Emeritus President in recognition of his huge contribution, to add to his retention of the Sam Taylor Award for outstanding service to the Club.

The Club understands that there is likely to be a private committal and that there is a likelihood of a memorial service, early in the new year. At present there are no further details, but we will let you know as soon as we know anything.

Words by Ian Smith

Olympic gold medallist Kate Richardson-Walsh and ex-Irish International Sarah Kelleher to coach at HWHC

We are very excited to announce former Great Britain Captain and double Olympic medallist, Kate Richardson-Walsh, and former Irish International and England U18 Coach Sarah Kelleher are joining the club as Ladies’ first XI coaches.

Kate and Sarah will take on the role together, allowing for both their breadth of expertise to put a mark on the team’s development.

Alongside her role as Ladies’ first XI coach, Kate will also get involved with growing HWHC junior section where she will coach and consult on the newly created Hampstead & Westminster Hockey Club Academy.  Kate will work closely with HWHC’s Head of Youth & Development, Alex Smart, and HWHC Men’s first XI Head Coach, Kwan Browne, on the development of HWHC junior club members on the England Hockey Player Pathway. 

Richard Smith, Director of Hockey at HWHC, said: “We are delighted that Kate and Sarah will be coaching our Ladies’ first XI this season. The team has been going from strength to strength over the last few years - just missing out on promotion to the Premier League last season after clinching the East Conference title without a loss.  Kate and Sarah will no doubt push our squad to the next level with their extensive experience and tactical insights.”

HWHC President, Richard Sykes, added: “It is fantastic to have Kate join our club in this double capacity.  HWHC has seen great growth and professionalisation in recent years, particularly seen our junior section with tremendous expansion.  We are proud of how we have developed a very successful and competitive junior club, with youngsters from the age of five to eighteen training at HWHC’s home ground at Westminster’s Paddington Recreation Ground in Central London. 

Both Kate and Sarah’s vision for hockey in the country completely aligns with our club’s ambition to build talent programmes that encourage the development of junior and senior players while they enjoy everything the sport has to offer. We really look forward to Kate and Sarah putting their mark on our club’s development across all sections.”

Kate Richardson-Walsh, said: “I am excited to be working alongside ex-Irish international and ex-Slough teammate Sarah this season at HWHC. Having stepped away from the game last season I wanted to make sure when I stepped back in, it was a good fit for all parties. HWHC have a good ladies first team squad, a thriving junior section and a club that has exciting aspirations for the future. I hope we can have another successful season, taking strides forward as a collective club in all areas.”

Kate and Sarah will be joining HWHC at an exciting time, not only is the club peaking in growth and performance, the club will also be celebrating their 125th anniversary in the season of 2018 – 2019 with a wide range of activities dedicated to this milestone.

 

*Kate Richardson-Walsh played for Great Britain between 1999 and 2016. She captained Great Britain for over 13 years of her international career, and won many achievements, most notably the Olympic gold medal at Rio 2016 following on from Olympic Bronze at London 2012. With over 370 caps, Kate is Great Britain’s most capped hockey player.

*Sarah Kelleher represented Ireland for over 10 years at senior level, winning 126 caps, and captained the side. She has been involved in high performance coaching at international level for eight years and is the current England Under 18s coach. Outside of hockey Sarah works as a Brand Strategy Consultant in business.

 

Mike Delaney

Mike Delaney steps down as Ladies’ 1s Head Coach

After joining us fresh off the boat from New Zealand two years ago, he’s now heading back…

We want to say a massive thank you to Mike Delaney, who coached our Ladies' first XI very successfully for the last two seasons.  Together with Assistant Coach Richard Smith he led the ladies to their highest ever finish, winning the East Conference last season, unbeaten and only narrowly missing out on a spot in the Investec Premier League in the play-offs.

Mike you will be massively missed but we wish you all the success in the future and keep COOL always!

The new coaching team will be revealed tomorrow, so stay tuned…

Men’s 1s make it to the League Finals again

After a dramatic last few weeks of the season, the Men's 1st XI are in the League Finals again, at Lee Valley April 28/29, for a shot at becoming Champions of England, and qualifying for Europe next season.

We play Wimbledon at 10:30am on Saturday, April 28 for a place in the Sunday final against Beeston or Surbiton.

Saturday 28 April - Lee Valley

1030 – MHL Semi 1 – Wimbledon (1st) v Hampstead & Westminster (4th)

Sunday 29 April - Lee Valley

1330 – MHL final

Tickets available here, grab your team mates and head down to Lee Valley and support the lads.

£25 for a weekend ticket

£17.50 for one day

Ladies’ 1s are in the Premier League Play-Off!

You may have heard...  The Ladies' 1st XI won the East Conference and now head to the play-offs taking on Beeston (winners of the North Conference), Stourport (West), and Slough (9th in the Premier League). After all teams have played, the top two will play Premier League hockey next season. The fixtures are across three days in two weekends, and the girls need all the Hampstead & Westminster support possible.

Sunday 22 April - Nottingham Hockey Centre
14:30 – Hampstead & Westminster (East) v Slough (Premier)

Saturday 28 April - University of Birmingham
14:15 – Beeston (North) v Hampstead & Westminster (East)

Sunday 29 April - University of Birmingham
13:15 – Hampstead & Westminster (East) v Stourport (West)

Next season is our 125th Anniversary, and having both 1st XI teams in the Premier Leagues would be the perfect celebration of the club.

More info here on England Hockey

And tickets are available here

£15 for all three days, £8 for each day and £12 for both games in Birmingham on 28/29

We'll be looking into group travel over the coming weeks for the Nottingham and Birmingham trips. Keep an eye on our social media.

Harry Martin joins HWHC

We are delighted to announce Great Britain international Harry Martin as our first signing of the summer for the Men's 1s as we look to better our top 4 finish last season.

Midfielder Harry made his full international debut for GB when he was just 17 years old and at still only 24 has already represented GB in two Olympics, won Commonwealth Games and Hockey World League Bronze medals in 2014, racking up a remarkable 151 caps and 13 goals for England and GB to date. In 2012, Harry was shortlisted for the FIH World Young Player of the Year Award. Harry is currently with England at Lee Valley for the Hockey World League Semi-Finals taking place in London for the next two weeks - tickets still available if you want to cheer the boys on!

Harry joins us after a successful season playing for Rotterdam in the Netherlands, helping them to second place in the league and having previously helped Beeston to two Premier League titles. He's also not just good with a stick and ball, he has a first class economics degree from the University of Nottingham.

On joining Hampstead and Westminster Harry said "After a fantastic year in Rotterdam, I'm delighted to be joining Hampstead & Westminster. The club is in an exciting place following last season and shares my ambitions of domestic and European success. Being coached by Kwan is a great opportunity to develop my game and I want to pick up as much as I can from him. There is also a strong emphasis on having fun both on and off the pitch, which is important to me and there seems to be a really social environment around the club as whole."

After a successful season last year for our Men's 1s which culminated in the League Finals weekend for the first time in our history, the squad is relatively unchanged. Harry’s addition to the club not only brings his exceptional talent, but also his invaluable experience of big game situations. The team is already looking forward to the new season and the addition of a few more new faces will help us to push for the National Premier League title.

We are real excited to see Harry pull on the blue and white stripes and look forward to working with him in his continued development through to the next Olympics and beyond.

Check out this little beauty Harry stuck in for Rotterdam last year.

5-1 Harry Martin v Qui Vive

Een van de 9 doelpunten tegen Qui Vive Heren 1 werd gescoord door Harry Martin, die eerst nog even twee verdedigers het bos in stuurde!

Posted by Rotterdam Heren 1 on Monday, 27 March 2017