The story starts in 1897 when the St. Annes on Sea Land and Building Company leased a piece of land in St. Davids Road North, St. Annes and the record reads “Leased to the newly formed St. Annes hockey club.”
However, in 1899 the ground was taken back by the Landlords so that the Town Gas Works could be built on the site. The Club moved to the ground at Lytham Cricket Club in 1900 and used to change in the County Hotel. In 1901 the club was affiliated to the Lancashire County Hockey Association and hence in turn to the Hockey Association.
Not much is known about the players who ran the club before the 1939/45 World War but we have records of the Presidents and Captains as follows:
|1901/02||J.J. Brickill||F. Coles|
|1906/07||J. Buckley||P.H. Whittaker|
|1907/08||H. Bowman||Rev. A.R. Burgess|
|1908/10||J. Brown||H.E. Bowman|
|1910/12||H.E. Higman||F.G. Edge|
|1912/14||H. Crummack||F.G. Edge|
Suspended – The Great War
|1919/20||H. Crummack||H.C. Edge|
|1920/22||W. Smith||H.C. Edge|
|1922/23||J. Barnes||H.C. Edge|
|1924/25||R.R. Alexander||H.C. Edge|
|1925/26||D.R. Fearnhead||H.C. Edge|
|1926/27||F. Highan||H.C. Edge|
|1927/28||H.P. Bee||C. Warren-Roberts|
|1928/29||H.C. Edge||J. Ainsworth|
|1929/30||W.H. Hodgson||C. Warren-Roberts|
|1930/31||F. Higman||C. Warren-Roberts|
|1931/32||J.T. Lonsdale||C. Warren-Roberts|
|1932/34||A. Payne||D.C Higham|
|1934/35||F.S. Higham||D.C Higham|
|1935/36||F.S. Higham||A. Lonsdale|
|1936/37||C. Warren-Roberts||A. Lonsdale|
|1937/39||C. Warren-Roberts||K. Ainsworth|
Suspended – World War II
Representative honours during the above period were numerous – the main honour going to R.W. Crummock, who played for England, the North and represented Lancashire on 70 occasions. Others who played for the North were E. Higham, H.C. Edge, J. Ainsworth and W.H. Hodgson. Lancashire honours also went to E. Higham (1909), W.A. Bowdler (1911), R.R. Alexander (1912), E.R Blane (1912), W.H. Hodgson (1912 – 28 occasions), A. Hine (1912), F.W. Taylor (1912), H.C. Edge (1913), E.B. Kelly (1913), C. Smith (1919), R. Smith (1920), J. Brookshaw (1920), J. Ainsworth (1927 – 75 occasions), K. Ainsworth (1927), J.P. Bennett (1933 – 25 occasions) and M.L. Goodeve-Docker (1934 – 8 occasions).
During this period, with only one pitch available, only two teams played each week. Many of the older photographs in the clubhouse record the style and surroundings of the above players, and, whilst it is difficult to put name to face in many of them, they record an era where sport generally, and hockey in particular, was ‘a gentleman’s game’. Whether it was played like gentlemen is open to your own interpretation.
1946/47 to 1957/57
|1946/47||C. Warren-Roberts||R. Hawthornthwaite|
|1947/48||H. Prestwich||R. Hawthornthwaite|
|1948/49||H. Prestwich||S. Lowery|
|1949/51||A. Lonsdale||J.G.F Scarrt|
|1951/52||W.H. Hodgson||J.P. Bennett|
|1952/54||J.C.F. Scarr||A. Snell|
|1954/56||J.P. Bennett||S.W.P. Blake|
|1956/57||F.S. Higham||H.A.B. Snell|
After The War, the Club got back fairly quickly, and a very good record of these years has been kept. Many people helped the Club, but the following names crop up time and again in one official position or another: Herbert Prestwich, Arthur Lonsdale, Bill Knowles, John Bennett, Les Mount and John Scarr. Bill Knowles is still living in Lytham, and records memories such as the change over from the original ‘straight toed’ stick to the Indian type. The teams played against over the years included Bury, Leyland Motors, Fyldeans, Liverpool, Sefton, Cheetham Hill, West Derby, Blackburn, Preston, Timperley, Wigan and Hightown.
Representative honours went to J.P. Bennett and R. Holden (1963) and, during this period, the Club were honoured by The Northern Counties H.A. with a match between Lancashire and Yorkshire on Saturday, January 10th 1948, followed by a ‘Roses Dinner’ at The Casino in Blackpool. John Bennett played at inside right in the Lancashire team. The records show that the Majestic Hotel, St. Annes, was the usual venue for the club dinner.
In the secretary’s report at the AGM, held in the club pavilion, 26th March 1952, the following minute was recorded:
‘The first socail event of the year was the Golden Jubilee Dinner at the Hotel Majestic, on 3rd November 1951, when the Club entertained the Mayor and Town Clerk, the Presidents of Lancashire and Yorkshire H.A.’s, the County Hon. Sec…and representatives from eight clubs. In addition, some 30 members and past members attended.
‘The following afternoon, by the kindness of the Preston Hockey Club, we witnessed an excellent match between the Lancashire Witches and Yorkshire Hounds on our ground. (We presume this should have been played at Preston).
It would be wrong during the report of this period in the Club’s history not to highlight the presence of one gentleman by the name of Mr. Sidney Lowery. His name first appears playing in the 1st XI on Saturday, 2nd December 1947, and continues thereafter. We know he was still playing hockey in 1970! Sadly, Sid died during the 1996/7 season, but he did come and enjoy a 1st XI match on the new Ansdell Sports Arena early that season. His was a truly remarkable hockey career, gaining his first Lancashire cap at the age of 40.
1958/59 to 1968/69
|1958/59||A. Hutt||J.W. Alston|
|1959/60||A. Hutt||J.W. Alston|
|1960/61||A. Hutt||T. Gilchrist|
|1961/62||A. Hutt||T. Gilchrist|
|1962/63||W. Knowles||D.R. Ablett|
|1963/64||W. Knowles||A.W. Hutt|
|1964/65||W. Knowles||R. Holden|
|1965/66||W. Knowles||R.M Riley|
|1966/67||W. Knowles||B.L. Hewitt|
|1967/68||J.W. Alston||P.C. Knowles|
|1968/69||A.W. Hutt||J. Harris|
The ten year period above can be described as one of growth, as the Club increased the number of teams performing each week to four. Bill Hutt introduced a Sunday team playing under the nomenclature of ‘The Shrimps’. The period was also the beginning of a number of rule changes, e.g. the 25-yard line bully-off to restart the game after the ball had crossed the goal line off an attacker was replaced by the 16-yard hit out of defence. Gradually, the ‘Indian type’ sticks totally took over from the ‘English type’.
Naturally, there were many players who gave up lots of time to help run the Club, but we have chosen two of the real stalwarts, who kindly sent in their reminiscences to help bring back your particular memories.
Bill Hutt, whose father was President from 1958-62, who captained the 1st XI in 1963/64, remembers vividly the following:
- Sefton’s changing rooms with NO showers.
- Numerous stops at pubs on the way back from Merseyside matchers – thank goodness there was no breathalyzer!
- Dropping off Charlie Cheshire by his front door late one night, after which Charlie was grounded by his wife for six weeks! Dear Charlie sadly died peacefully in July 1997 aged 87 – not a bad score for a really great halfback.
Rod Pothecary, whose playing career of the ‘thou shalt not pass’ variety spread over some 37 years played in all five XI’s. He remembers particularly:
- Sid Lowery, for his total commitment to the game.
- Tim Gilchrist – one of the best players the Club had at that time, and an excellent captain.
- His three weekly companions, Brian Hewitt, David Todd and Gordon Latham – because they always got ars****d every Saturday (ie, marginally inebriated).
Rod remembers particularly the Diamond Jubilee Dinner, held at The Majestic Hotel, St. Annes. The President of The County Association, and all in his committee, attended, and speeches were made by himself, the captain of the 1st XI, Tim Gilchrist and Arthur Hutt, the Club President. During his speech, the County President, well into his guns, referred to Herbert Prestwich as Herbert Leftwich, and the name stuck thereafter. On the Sunday after, the Club played a President’s XI, and got stuffed 6-2, after which a tremendous party took place in the old pavilion.
Both Bill and Rod mention the Clubs they particularly liked playing, e.g. Preston, Oxton, West Derby, Bowden and Chorlton; whilst Bill mentions one or two names of players from other clubs, such as Cheetham (Wigan), Ronnie and Teddy Ramjahn (Warrington), Warwick Hughes (West Derby), George Greaves (Lancashire goalkeeper and Blackpool Easter Festival organiser) and Bill Hart (umpire). During this period, R. Holden (1963) and John Roberts (1969) represented Lancashire.
Editor’s note: In 1968 a certain Peter ‘Colonel’ Muncaster joined the club, and, as befitted a future press secretary, was immediately given full honours in the local newspaper. Billed then as ‘ex-Surry, Middlesex and South of England star’, Peter was one of the top eight coaches in the country, and it was seen as a great coup for St. Annes Hockey Club for him to join. Few would argue with that, and the hard work Peter has done for the Club over the years, both in hockey and cricket.
1969/70 to 1978/79
|1969/70||A.W. Hutt||J. Harris|
|1970/71||A.W. Hutt||J. Harris|
|1971/72||A.W. Hutt||D. Moor|
|1972/73||B.S. Perkins||J. Leadbetter|
|1973/74||B.S. Perkins||J. Leadbetter|
|1974/75||B.S. Perkins||J. Leadbetter|
|1975/76||B.S. Perkins||P.G. Thompson|
|1976/77||B.S. Perkins||P.G. Thompson|
|1977/78||P.C. Knowles||P.G. Thompson|
|1978/79||P.C. Knowles||G. Stuart|
This ten year period will probably be best remembered as the Brian Perkins era, which oversaw, amongst many other things, league hockey being introduced to the Club. It had all started early in the period, when 16 clubs got together to play their normal opponents, but to record the games of the 16, to decide who would be ‘league’ winners, runners-up etc. Later, another five clubs were added (St. Annes being one), and so, from then on, leagues developed, sponsors were obtained, re-organised etc, up to the present day. A press cutting from September 1972 records that St. Annes H.C. had both 1st and 2nd XI’s accepted into the N.W. Hockey League.
Brian, who was so unlucky to die in1988 at an early age, worked tirelessly for the Club. He had learnt his hockey somewhat late, but developed a great love for it, as well as for Lytham Cricket and Sports Club in general. His lovable wife Sybil, whose loyal support he continually received helped in every possible way, and was a tower of strength to him and also to the Club following his death. Their three children, Katie, David and Steve are all current members, and Steve captains the Cricket Club’s 1st XI.
It was at this time that John V. Conroy – probably the finest player England has produced since the war – married a local girl, moved to Lytham St. Annes, and joined the Club. John first won his Middlesex colours in 1950/51, and between 1952 and 1960 won 32 international caps, and played 23 times for Great Britain. Obviously, John was at the end of his career after he joined the Club, but the encouragement and coaching he gave to the lower XI’s was immense, and we were all saddened when he suddenly died on the hockey field in an away match playing for the opposition, who had turned up a couple of men short. Very sad, but had he been given the option, we are sure he would have selected that way for his death to happen. The Club decided many years ago to present an annual trophy to the ‘Clubman of the Year’ in memory of John.
On the playing side, the Club enjoyed fixtures against most of the senior N.W. clubs, running four teams, and The Shrimps had a full fixture list on Sundays. John Roberts represented Lancashire on 16 occasions between the years 1969 and 1973. Several players represented the Lancashire ‘A’ Xi, whilst each captain played a full part to ensure that the Club succeeded both on and off the field. ‘Gentleman’ John Harris, a polite and learned man, was followed by a tall blond guy, David Moor, whose good looks belied the strength of his tackle. John ‘The Flyer’ Leadbetter’s stickwork and ball control often beat himself, as well as his opponents. The followed the smooth ‘legal beagle’, Patrick Thompson, whose later years saw him sweeping to perfection. These guys are well known to us all, and we thank them for their contribution to the Club. John has recalled the pleasure he derived from his seasons representing Lancashire’s ‘A’ XI, being 1st XI Captain, admiring the skills of John Roberts and Nigel Carter and winning a 5-a-side indoor tournament at Lancaster University. On the question of rule changes, John replies ‘What rules?’
At the end of this period, Philip Knowles, who had captained the 1st XI in from 1967-69, became chairman for two years, so finalising a long and very successfully playing career with the Club.
1979/80 to 1988/89
|1979/80||B.S. Perkins||D. Green|
|1980/81||B.S. Perkins||P. Stone|
|1981/82||A.J. Noon||P. Stone|
|1982/83||A.J. Noon||P. Stone|
|1983/84||A.J. Noon||R.N. Stone|
|1984/85||M. Muschamp||C. Dixon|
|1985/86||M. Muschamp||C. Dixon|
|1986/87||M. Muschamp||A. Bloor|
|1987/88||C. Dixon||A. Bloor|
|1988/89||C. Dixon||A. Bloor|
The beginning of this next ten year period brought the Club national newspaper headlines, when The Daily Telegraph reported:
‘PLAYER SENT OFF FOR PECK ON CHEEK’
It was during a period when the hockey umpiring fraternity were set on stopping players behaving ‘like footballers’, and so, when Peter Stone scored an excellent goal and Nick Green ran over and gave him a peck on the cheek, Nick was immediately sent off. After the game however, the umpire put things right by buying him a pint. Good job he’s not umpiring today!
During Peter Stone’s resign as captain, Anthony J. Noon took the chair, and brought in some immediate administrative changes. The top heavy (30 persons) Club Committee was reduced to a more manageable number (7). Then the rather unique Black Tie Men’s Dinner was introduced, with the charmingly dressed ladies preparing and serving the food and wine and generally ensuring a very enjoyable evening takes place. At the end of this event, the annual presentation of club trophies takes place, and brings the formal proceedings to a close.
The annual 6-a-side Sea-Side Tournament, and a junior 6-a-side were also introduced during this period. The 1st XI was captained by the brothers Stone, first Peter, then Nick – who still gives players the benefit of his advice in one form or another.
The ubiquitous Michael Muschamp then followed in the chair for three seasons. As the 1st XI gradually improved its performance until, in the third year of Andy Bloor’s captaincy (1986/87), they won promotion to the N.W. League Division 1. This included beating the champions, Formby, 2-1 in a thrilling game at Formby. 32 goals were scored, Graham Cartmell – who subsequently represented Lancashire on 22 occasions, scoring 24 of them. Jim Boswell was vice-captain Graham Wilkinson in goal, pat Thompson was re-introduced as sweeper and John Roberts in centre midfield. The following season, the 1st XI found the 1st Division too tough for them, and, in 1988/89, the league underwent a massive restructuring, with the creation of National and Northern Premier Leagues. The Club lost the services of three of its top players to senior clubs, and were relegated to Division 2. By that time, Chris Dixon had taken over as Chairman. Four teams took the field regularly; the social occasions were always well supported, and there were many people beavering away to see that the Club was well run.
During this period, the social horizons of the Club were stretched to include overseas tours. Mike Muschamp and Mike Greenwood organised the first tour to Gibraltar, where an excellent team was shown how to play by a team preparing for the World Cup. The success of this tour has led to further tours to Cyprus and Malta, with a centenary tour of Malta taking place over Easter 1998.
At this stage it is worth thanking the Umpires who have given so much to the game and made hockey enjoyable at all levels. Pat Roberts was 2nd XI umpire for many years and thanks are due to Graham Wilkinson, Peter Muncaster, John Tucker and many others who have regularly umpired the lower teams. Any first class club must aim to have a strong 2nd XI team and whilst records are limited long service 2nd team Captains include Mike Greenwood, Malcolm Glenbott, Nick Stone and Steve Braidford.
Mike remembers early on as second team captain being asked to play regularly for the 1st XI and then as soon as giving up the captaincy being dropped, left out by the new 2nd team Captain, left out by the 3rd team on a youth policy and playing the next week in the 4th team!
Mike’s memoirs of the 2nd XI years include:
- A serious drinking session before playing Crewe when we were top of the division – needless to say we lost that game
- Jon Conroy being hacked mercilessly at Oxton when their defence couldn’t tackle him and the umpires wouldn’t protect him
- Striking Bill Gott’s knee during a short corner routine at Bramhall when he stood in for Mike Broadhurst
- Running the annual Dinner Dance at the Clifton Arms and seeing it change from a very formal affair for older members and guests to one for club members of all ages
- The reintroduction of Vets hockey on Sundays and seeing so many older members enjoy playing on grass again. Thanks are particularly due here to Ann Barnett for providing lunches – a sad loss to the club when they moved down South
1989/90 to 1996/97
|1989/90||B.V. Roberts||M.J. Lees||K. Perkins|
|1990/91||B.V. Roberts||M.J. Lees||L. Kendall|
|1991/92||B.V. Roberts||C. Dixon||L. Kendall|
|1992/93||B.V. Roberts||P. Orr||J. Dixon|
|1993/94||G. Wilkinson||M.J. Lees||J. Atkinson|
|1994/95||J. Pearson||D. Robbins||B. Lanigan|
|1995/96||J. Pearson||D. Robbins||B. Lanigan|
|1996/97||B. Turner||D. Robbins||B. Austin|
|1997/98||B. Turner||D. Jones||B. Austin|
|119/99||B. Turner||D. Jones||B. Austin|
The years 1989-93 can safely be referred to as the Roberts era, and once again a married duo worked tirelessly to see that the club went from strength to strength, on and off the field. Brian Roberts first joined the Club in 1960 but a few years later had a spell with Blackburn and returned to the fold in 1973. In 1982 he moved to Ayr only to return again from 1987-96. During that period he played for all teams, became a qualified H.A Coach, and then N.W.H.U.A qualified umpire. Pat Roberts joined in 1961/62 and in 1973 she became the first Lady member of the N.W Umpires Association being appointed to 1st XI matches each week, later umpiring for our Ladies 1st XI matches and Men’s lower teams.
Clearly a man who commands respect by leading from the front Brian remembers clearly the enjoyment of many overseas visits to Gibraltar, Cyprus and Malta between the years 1986-95. These overseas tours were born from a continuation of the successful Birmingham Tours that the Roberts organised and the overseas tours run by the club cricket section.
The Lytham Ladies H.C. started under his Chairmanship in 1989/90 when Katie Perkins, Lorraine Kendall and Judy Dixon were ‘cornered’ at a Roberts party and ‘conned’ (their words) into setting up a Ladies section. Little did they realise that over the years under the captaincy of all three girls plus Joanne Atkinson (1993/94), Brenda Lanigan (1994-96) and Bernice Austin (1996/97) the club would rise to the 1st Division of the Ladies Central League. In 1996/97 under the management of Tony Noon the 1st XI played 18 games, won 18, scoring 109 goals with 16 against, and won the league by a clear 15 points. The Ladies 2nd XI just failed to get promotion from Division 3. At the end of the 1996/97 season the Ladies also won the Mayday Tournament at Whitton Park against Premier and Division 1 teams. The following season the Ladies section added a 3rd team which has continued to present day.
It would be wrong to forget all the Ladies who over those eight seasons have carried out many activities behind the scenes to help as much as they can. Top of that tree must be Sue Wood – Hon. Treasurer for the whole club. Sue has displayed a remarkable patient nature, is seldom ruffled, always punctual, and never minds her leg being pulled (as short as it may be)! However, on the field you found a strong, determined tackler, full of energy, with a fair turn of speed that frightened the living daylights out of any self-respecting forward. A big thanks to Sue who also enjoyed a great goal in her only 1st XI appearance in the 2006/07 season!
Off the field of play one or two important events took place namely in April 1994 when the Club agreed to change its name to Lytham St. Annes Hockey Club incorporating the names St. Annes H.C. and Lytham Ladies H.C. Unfortunately, old habits die hard and the name only seems to be used on notepaper or press reports.
In June 1993 David Barnett is recorded as having reported to the Committee the progress being made towards the eventual building of an Astroturf pitch at Lytham St. Annes High School stating that plans were being drawn up and financial avenues explored. We all now know that the dream came true in September 1996 and the Club are indebted to David for the hours he spent on the Club’s behalf – not forgetting his quite outstanding goalminding abilities!
The playing years of the 1989-92 proved to be quite difficult despite valiant efforts from one quite remarkable clubman, namely Mark Lees. If there is a job Mark hasn’t done for the Club we are not aware of it. However in 1993/94 a breath of Yorkshire air blew in from Doncaster. John Pearson, a North of England, Yorkshire, and National League player joined the Club. Previously a highly qualified Irish player Peter Orr (Captain 1992/93) had shown his coaching skills to raise the playing standard and gradually by the end of 1993/94 things were improving.
Coinciding with this the youthful and experienced Dave Robbins returned from Warrington to take over the 1st XI Captaincy for 1994/95. That season the 1st XI was promoted to the Lace Mawer NW League (Div. 1) and the Robbins/Pearson alliance continued. Planned training and coaching sessions became the accepted norm, and so the general performance throughout all elevens gradually improved. In 1996/97 the team, led by Dave Robbins was further strengthened by other experienced players and youngsters blossoming to full manhood. This team won the League and next congratulated on his return to County Hockey. He played for Lancashire in the County Championship matches and was rewarded with the captaincy when they beat Kent 5 – 4.
This improvement of club standards has been achieved through hard and dedicated work at all levels and mention must go to David Nuttall for all the work he has done with the juniors and Jas Hans and Eddie Gettings for captaining the Badgers teams over the years. We must not forget all the work done on a Sunday morning by Bruce Turner and Raj Tour in starting so many juniors off on the right track.
1997/98 was the centenary year for the men’s club and events were held throughout the season in celebration. They began with two games at Ansdell Arena where a LSA vets XI beat an ex-LSA XI 10-4 and then the current LSA 1st XI were beaten 4-2 by an ex-LSA XI thanks to a hat trick from ex-LSA star Graham Cartmell. The celebrations continued with two centenary dinners. The 34 man Centenary Easter Tour to Malta was perhaps the highlight of the year and the year’s festivities ended with The Centenary ball held at Lytham Hall.
Dafydd Jones’ first year as 1st team captain was a success. His team finished sixth in their league and the Premiership seemed to be within their reach. Dave Robbins top gunned with 25.
Newly installed 2nd and 3rd team captains, Graham Stuart and David Nuttall respectively, were appointed the task of closing of the gap in divisional standards between teams at the club now that successive promotions had lifted the Men’s 1st XI into the Northern Premier League. Eddie Cook led the 4th team into their first year of league hockey.
Graham Stuart led his team to what turned out to be a promotion winning third place in NW Division 6, (thanks to a league re-shuffle) with his strike force of John Pearson and Richard Isherwood yielding 50 goals. Graham had to wait till 2006/07, the 10th year of his captaincy, to be rewarded with another promotion, this time his team were promoted as Champions.
Eddie Cook led the 4th XI into their first year of league hockey.
In the inaugural season for the ladies 3rd XI their 1st XI and 2nd XI both won promotion and both finished top scorers in their divisions.
With the Men’s 1st team having been so successful over recent years 1998/99 was ultimately a disappointing season for them as they narrowly escaped relegation after losing key players. The 2nd XI finished mid-table despite a good start.
The end of the season saw Sheila and Tony Noon stepping down from their management of the Ladies teams along with 1st XI captain Berniece Austin who made way for Michelle Singleton
|1999/00||B. Turner||C. Simcock||M. Singleton|
|2000/01||B. Turner||R. McGee||M. Singleton|
|2001/02||B. Turner||R. McGee||M. Singleton|
|2002/03||B. Turner||T. Atkinson||M. Singleton|
|2003/04||B. Turner||T. Atkinson||G. Harrison|
|2004/05||B. Turner||T. Sale||G. Harrison|
|2005/06||B. Turner||T. Sale||G. Harrison|
|2006/07||B. Turner||T. Sale||G. Harrison|
|2007/08||B. Turner||D. Houseman||G. Harrison|
In 1999/2000 Dafydd Jones stepped down as captain and took on the role as vice-captain with Chris Simcock chosen as captain. The team members who attended training on Tuesday nights showed marked improvements in their performances, thanks largely to the hard work of the club coach Dave Robbins in preparing the sessions, and the team performed much better in the league finishing 6th.
Peter Maguire retired as 5th team captain and the 5ths were entered into the league for the first time but still played their home games on grass. They withdrew from the league the following year as many teams refused to travel to play on grass and they were also struggling to raise a side especially for away games.
It was a successful year for the ladies their 1st XI consolidated their position in the premier league and the 2nd XI gained promotion and won the Lishman Plate final.
2000/01 saw the Men’s 1sts finish fourth in the league helped by 26 goals from top scorer Dave Robbins and 18 from Craig Nuttall.
At this time the clubs efforts at running badgers and beavers teams was starting to produce some promising youngsters, Eddie Gettings ran the teams for seven years up to retiring in1998 and then Kevan Waby took over. Amongst this crop were David Waby, Andy Robinson, Stuart Waby, Jonny Robinson, Nick Little, James Benson (aka Digger), Graham Shaw, Andy Taylor and many others went on to make valuable contributions to the first team and amassed countless Lancashire, Northwest and even England caps (Nick Little U16) between them.
The Ladies 1st XI finished runner us to Springfield in Lancashire central. Also finishing runner up in 2000/01 was our very own The Colonel in the H.W.C National Award for Amateur Regional Hockey Writers.
In 2001/02 the Ladies 1st went one better than the previous year and finished the season as champions and were promoted to the North feeder league. Gilly Harrison scored the goal that clinched the title in a 1-0 win against Blackpool. Unfortunately they were beaten in the final of the Lishman cup on penalties. There was success too for the 2nd XI who won the Lishman Cup (Plate) and also for the 3rd XI who won promotion to the 3rd division. This was also the year the ladies section made the national press when they released their calendar, Gemma Noon the brains behind the fundraising scheme.
The Men’s 1st XI experiment with getting in an overseas player, Aussie Ben King, was viewed as a success and plans were drawn to bring another player/coach in for the following season.
In the 2002/03 season both our 1st XI were relegated. The Ladies 1st XI finished fifth but were relegated after losing a play-off to Preston. The Men’s XI under the new leadership of Tom Atkinson and with new Australian coach Mike Thom installed as player/coach were relegated on the last day of the season. The 5th team finally were reintroduced into league hockey and were promoted their first year back.
In 2003/04 Gilly Harrison took over as 1st team captain and in her first year finished runners up. The 2nd XI was promoted into the 1sts league.
2004/05 saw Tom Sale installed as first team captain. In his 3 year reign he steered his team to two Lancashire cup finals (losing to Preston & Formby) and his team performed well in the league and never finished outside the top 5.
The Ladies 2nd XI were relegated but bounced back and were promoted back in 2005/06 along with their 3rd XI. In 2006/07 the men’s 2nds were promoted as Champions to NW Division 4.
From 2005 to 2007 the mixed team has won the Blackpool Easter festival three years running. In 2007 Men’s and Ladies teams both triumphed at the Ayr hockey festival, both winning their finals on penalty strokes.
“At the end of this history of the Lytham St. Annes Hockey Club it must be recorded that many, many people who deserve to be mentioned may have been overlooked. So if you were a past captain, secretary, treasurer, coach, umpire etc please forgive us for not mentioning your name. If you must criticise please remember the immortal words of one of our stalwarts, one who has spent hours encouraging the young players, one who has kept himself incredibly fit and whose fantastic turn of speed at the age of ‘rum de do’ would leave many a young man yards behind – yes, it’s the Chairman who always says “It’s only the doer’s that get criticised!”
With all good wishes from a ‘Doer’, on behalf of the LSAHC Committee, your very own.
The Colonel (assisted by Richard Isherwood)