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Pitchero Club

The official City of Portsmouth Hockey Club app


Club History

The roots of the City of Portsmouth Hockey Club go back to 1973 when what is still the nucleus of the present club got together as the Old Purbrookians - pupils and ex-pupils of Purbrook Grammar School who initially formed their own club to play friendly men's and mixed hockey on a Sunday outside their existing clubs Saturday commitments.

Within a couple of seasons the club members decided to enter the Hampshire League in their own right and this was coupled with a move away from the school's pitches at Purbrook into the Civil Service Club in Portsmouth. The club was renamed Old Purbrookians Civil Service - OPCS - and this was as it stayed until 1989. During that time the club expanded to run three men's teams and loosely associated itself with Portsmouth Civil Service Ladies for mixed fixtures and social functions. The 1st XI were promoted and maintained a position in Hampshire League Division 1.

As things stood the club were unlikely ever to set the hockey world alight. Disillusioned with the steady decline of facilities at the Civil Service Club and with the need to play their fixtures on a synthetic surface the club opened negotiations with Southsea Hockey Club with a view to a merger in the spring of 1989. These discussions broke down at the season end and the OPCS committee decided to 'go it alone'. During the summer closed season a new 'home' was identified in the grounds of Alexandra Park, close to the Mountbatten Center. With support from the City Council and Bass Breweries the clubhouse was converted from a little used bowls pavilion into the club's new home with its own bar and kitchen facilities. With acknowledgement to the City Council's support the club was rebranded as the City of Portsmouth Hockey Club and within twelve months the ladies of Portsmouth Civil Service and Cosham and Southsea joined us to form the present club.

Mens Section

From that moment we have not looked back. The club were Hampshire League champions without dropping a point in season 1990/91. As runners-up they were then promoted from the Hampshire/Surrey Regional League the next season. The club's arrival in the South Premier League coincided with that leagues decision to amalgamate with the London League and in its first season City had to finish in the top half of the 'B' league to play Premier League hockey the next season. As it was we finished runners-up to Oxford University who then went on into the National League.

In the following year we finished third in the South Premier League, just missing out on a place in the National League Play-offs but in 1994/95 we made it by finishing runners-up to High Wycombe. In the then convoluted system of qualification we managed to fight our way through to a final play-off match away to Whitchuch in South Wales which we won 3 - 0. Celebrations went on late into the night and we made our debut in the National League away to Edgebaston in October 1995.

Our first season in the National League was a success - finishing 5th. This was swiftly followed by the ignominy of relegation back to the South League via the play-offs the next year. Many reasons were given for the return to Regional League status but, in truth, the club's meteoric rise on the field had left behind its off-field infrastructure. In the two succeeding seasons the club maintained it's position close to the top of the South Premier League while rebuilding from the bottom.

The latest development come off the field with the club outgrowing the clubhouse at Alexandra Park. The start of the 1999/2000 season saw the club up studs (literally!) and move down the road to HMS Temeraire where facilities include an onsite Clubhouse, 2 pitches (one water based) and a 400 seater stand.

The club peaked during the next few seasons expanding to 6 men's teams, each doing well in their own respective leagues, fuelled by a very successful junior section which provided a significant number of new players for the senior sides. Some of these new players left as they went off to University, joined other local sides and Portsmouth gained promotion to the Premier League. The momentum of new junior players subsided and the club has now reduced to 4 mens sides.

Since the season 2008/09 the club has joined forces with Portsmouth University to provide a vehicle for the students to participate in the club and enjoy the opportunity of Saturday hockey as well as the university's own Wednesday leagues.

The club's main base is the University Pitch at the Langstone Campus on Furze Lane. This pitch was re-laid in 2010.

Ladies Section

The City of Portsmouth Ladies Section was formed in 1991 by the amalgamation of Portsmouth Civil Service and Cosham & Southsea Women's Hockey Clubs. At that time, the 1st XI played in the newly formed National League Division 2, whilst the 2nd and 3rd XI's played in the Hampshire League. The ladies section were also represented by one non-league and one U18 team.

Since then, fortunes have changed for the various teams but the club is proud to boast that The Womens Section were the first in Hampshire to have:

A team in The National League
Players in a team ( along with those from winchester ) that reached the National Veteran's Finals, following that up with 3 further appearences in the event.
Their 2nd XI in the Hampshire League
Their 3rd XI in the Hampshire League Division 2
Their 4th XI in the Hampshire League Division 4


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