Worthing Hockey Club has a rich past - now for the next chapter...

As the new hockey season begins, we bring you the final part of a series on the history of Worthing Hockey Club – which is celebrating its 125th anniversary.

Long servant John Massie
Long servant John Massie

Worthing Hockey Club has enjoyed periods of considerable success as a premier Sussex and south of England club, with many Worthing members awarded county, regional and international colours.

Records show that in 1910, six Worthing players played in the County XI including JK Mathews who was also capped for England along with CWS Marcon, with players such as Richard Rucklidge and Peter Haslam following in the 60s.

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R H ‘Paddy’ Selman FIH (Grade 1) umpired at the first hockey World Cup in 1971 and at the Olympic Games.

Worthing ladies' trophy winners of 2011

Worthing club captain from 1986 to 1990, Harry Cahill, prior to joining WHC, competed in goal for Great Britain in three Olympic Games 1960, 1964 and 1968.

He played 72 times for Ireland between 1953 and 1973 and is a member of Irish Hockey’s Hall of Fame and was a member of Worthing’s Sussex Cup winning team in 1981.

Since the 1970s a large number of Worthing players have received county or international honours including Gerry Beasley, Horace Grostate, Peter Ashworth, Colin Sinnott (England), Ted Sclater, Chris Bateman, Cliff Mitchell (County and South of England, GB Squad), Brian Babington, Peter Ellis, Neil Longstreet and Jeremy Mott. Alongside Richard Edmondson, Clive Collins was another Worthing player who played over 100 games for Sussex. His son Jason appeared for England and GB, playing for South East while a Worthing Junior player and was Worthing Ladies 1st XI trophy winning coach in 2010/11.

In 1988/89, Worthing men’s first XI reached their highest league position in the South One under manager Gareth Chorley, himself a former Welsh International.

Robin Carr

More recent representative colours have been awarded to Colin Dand (Sussex and Scotland Over-45s), Kathy Minchell, Sussex, Rex Fuller (Scotland Over-45s), Andy Allan (Scotland Over-45s), Simon Holloway (Scotland Over-40s), Robin Carr (England Over-70s and Over-75s), Adrian Smith and John Herbert (Wales) International masters colours.

In 1995, Robin Carr, a previous president and club captain who joined Worthing in 1968/69 season, celebrated 25 years with the club by hosting a Silver Jubilee match, defeated 3-1 by a Colin Dand XI, another former club captain.

Having played in 2020, Robin has a record 52 playing years with the club.

In 1984, John Massie jnr made his debut for Worthing and is still playing in 2021 – John holds the club record for number of club and first XI appearances in total playing more than 750 matches and counting.

One of the highlights for the club on the national stage came in 1999, when the men’s first XI made the English Hockey Association Trophy final at the then home of English Hockey, the national stadium in Milton Keynes.

On the ladies side, the first XI were three years runners-up in the Sussex Premier League and EHA Vase finals and then recorded victory in the Sussex Ladies Plate final in 2011. Not to be left out, the boys’ U16 team won the Sussex Cup in 2016/17.

Now, in 2021, the club currently run six men’s teams, two ladies’ teams and a large junior section, including the Wolves U16 Boys, Llamas U16 Girls and Comets U12 mixed team for the youngest members.

With such a rich history, firm foundations, a strong and growing membership across all ages, WHC is looking forward to starting the new chapter towards the next 125 years .

And now the story continues..