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Pitchero Club

The official Doncaster Hockey Club app



1900 Records show that Doncaster Hockey Club, then known as Doncaster Greenhouse Club, played at Greenhouse Farm on Thorne Road - the house is now the Cumberland Hotel

1926 A Sheffield Telegraph report shows that the club - now Doncaster Hockey Club - had moved to a ground at Belle Vue with a much improved pitch on which the County Trials were played and on which the Club was awarded its first County Game - Yorkshire v Cheshire. The Sheffield telegraph article actually reported the club as 'the most progressive Club in South Yorkshire' - a fine example of what can be done by a band of determined officials - much the same as applies today! The Club now fielded three teams - a Men's, a Ladies' and a Mixed.

March 1946 The Club decided to pool its players with Doncaster Civil Service Hockey Club, combined the fixture lists and amalgamate to form one club - Doncaster Hockey Club. Dr Hugh M Petty was elected as the first President of the new Club. Playing strength was now two Men's X1s, one Ladies' X1 and a Mixed team. Subscriptions were set at £1 per annum for over 21s and 10/- (50p) for Juniors.

Aug 1946 Doncaster Town Cricket Club agreed to the Hockey Club playing on part of the Town Field Cricket ground at a rental of £25 pa - this included the use of the roller and the tea hut.

1947 The President donated the HUGH PETTY trophy to the Hockey Club, to be awarded annually for outstanding service to the Club. This greatly respected trophy continues to be awarded by the Men's section annually.

1949 The Club now had sufficient members to form a Men's 3rd X1 - 1st and 2nd team members to boost the side as necessary. (The beginning of the stand down system?) The Club arranged for post-match teas to be taken at the Elite Cafe Hallgate, home team members to be charged 2/- (10p) each to cover the costs for visitors.

1950 The Cricket Club expressed concerns that playing hockey and rugby on the cricket field in the winter was damaging the cricket pitches and outfield and thus jeopardising any chances of County Cricket being played there. The Rugby Club found a new ground at Armthorpe: the Hockey Club stayed at the cricket ground, but began to search for a new venue.

1951 St Hughes school ground on Town Field rented to provide an additional pitch or fallback pitch if the Club had to leave the cricket ground.

Dec 1951 The first County Hockey Match to be played on the Cricket Club ground took place on the 15th December - again, Yorkshire v Cheshire.

Jan 1952 Two important matters discussed; the 3rd X1 had no regular place to change for home games, and there was no hot water for visiting teams! (Home team unclean?) - Decision! Buy two buckets to carry hot water from the tea hut to the visitors changing room, but the 3rd X1 would continue to get fresh instructions at each home game as to where they could change!

1953 Agreement reached that the 1st and 2nd X1s would share the one pitch on the cricket ground, the 3rd X1 and the Ladies would share St Hughes ground. Fred Ward (father of Stephen and Martyn) apologised to the Club for not providing backboards - a good idea at the time before the now mandatory 18 inch boards. He renewed his promise to provide them.

1954 An agreement was reached with the Cricket Club to lease the cricket ground hockey pitch for 2 years at a time. The St Hughes pitch was also retained, but the Cricket Club was to be asked for a second pitch on their ground. Sunday Hockey was introduced: Thirsk and Normanby Park were two early opponents. Jack Walters was elected Hon. Secretary of the Hockey Club - the start of a distinguished 25 years in the post. A specimen club tie was approved and orders placed. Tom Yates was officially thanked for providing back boards!

1955 The Cricket Club ground was leased for an additional two years together with the St Hughes pitch and another from the Council - the Club was expanding!

1956 A second pitch was rented from the Cricket Club and, in December, a gas heater was purchased to provide hot water and showers in the changing rooms. the House is now the Cumberland Hotel. The Hockey Club held a Jubilee Ball at the Danum Hotel on the 14th December to celebrate the Club's 50th Jubilee Anniversary. This is clearly at odds with current records. For many years the Club knew from its earliest records that it was founded prior to the 1905-06 season, hence the 'Silver Jubilee'. Further research indicated the Club was actively playing fixtures in 1900.

1957 The heating and washing arrangements were still causing problems, so the Men's Section put money into a special fund for heating arrangements. A new heating system was bought and the first showers were installed towards the end of the 57/58 season. Because of this expenditure the Cricket Club were asked for a five year lease.

1958 The venue for post match teas was moved to the Cyclists' Cafe opposite the war Memorial on Bennetthorpe - the egg and chips were consistently excellent.

1959 Use by the Hockey Club of the Cricket Club Bar on a Saturday night was agreed. This was situated upstairs in the old Cricket pavilion on the site of the present Squash Club. Profits during the hockey season were split 50/50 with the Cricket Club. Members had to promise to support the Bar! In October, the Bar Committee was given £10 to spend on extra comforts such as curtains; then they were given another £20 for general bar equipment and furniture.

1961 The general standard of kit turnout on the field was seen to be unsatisfactory. The white shirt with a red collar was approved for wear with blue shorts and all playing members were expected to buy them. The Club AGM reported on the proposed new arrangements with the Cricket Club for a licence to use the ground until 1969 and that there would be a Joint Development Committee of the Cricket and Hockey Clubs.

1962 It was resolved that the season's Annual Dance should be in the form of a dinner and dance at the Green Tree Hotel, Hatfield.

1964 Membership numbers were increasing (some people had been refused membership) so a Men's 4th X1 was formed in September.

1965 The Hockey Club contributed £50 towards improvements to the pavilion and in the Spring the newly altered and improved bar was opened. The Joint Development Committee made plans for a new clubhouse.

1968 Preparation and seeding of the third hockey pitch commenced. In June, the new clubhouse opened and in August a new 70 year lease was granted to the Sports Club by the Council.

1970 February - three games were played on the pitches on the cricket ground for the first time. 26th February - the Club held a celebration Dinner in honour of the Yorkshire County Hockey Association X1 who had won the North County Championship Group for the first time. The team included five Doncaster players - Hugo Dunkley , Keith Taylor, George Kirk, Peter Wyatt and Chris Walters.

1971 A men's 5th X1 was formed and fixtures arranged for the 1971/72season./ The new team was to be called "The Occasionals" as players on stand down from the 2nd, 3rd and 4th X1s would be used as a basis to form the team. (No substitutes in those days)

1972 Two historic edifices were demolished - the old tea hut and the old cricket pavilion (site became that of the Squash Club)

1974/5 Doncaster 1st X1 won the first Official Yorkshire League title. The Club celebrated its 75th Anniversary. A Celebration Dinner was held at the Danum Hotel where the County president proposed the toast to the Club and the Club President, Frank Walters, responded. John Marshall proposed the toast to the Guests and Charles Buck responded. The 1st X1 played a Yorkshire President's X1. The Club team was: Keith Holmes, Colin Maxwell, Hugo Dunkley, Roger Middleton, Neil Flowerdew, Peter Wyatt, Stephen Ward, Lindsey O'Regan, Brian Mellor, George Kirk and Peter Justice. Fifteen sides took part in an invitation 6-a-side tournament - Doncaster, Huddersfield, Wakefield, Beeston, Bradford, Sheffield, Nottingham, York, Ben Rhydding, Halifax, Horsforth, Welton, Leeds Corinthians, Normanby Park and Doncaster Exiles.

1979 Jack Walters, who had been Club Hon. Secretary for 25 years, died suddenly and unexpectedly on 26th July. George Mabon took over the mantle of Hon. Secretary

1980 Doncaster won the Yorkshire Cup for the first time beating Bradford by the only goal - a Kenny Dick penalty. Nearly got the double but came second to Sheffield in the Yorkshire League both teams having 34 points but Sheffield's goal difference being the deciding factor. The Club formed a 6th X1 for the 1980/81 season.

1981 Doncaster narrowly missed reaching the quarter finals of the National Club Cup Competition, being beaten in a penalty shoot out by St Albans - half time 0-0, full time 1-1, extra time 2-2, but the visitors England goalkeeper, John Hurst, saved all five of Doncaster's penalties. St Albans won 2-0.

1982/3 John Marshall was elected President of the Yorkshire County Hockey Association. The Yorkshire v Lancashire match (Roses Match) was played at Doncaster in November; the Yorkshire team included Mike Cattrall, Ian White and Kenny Dick from the Club. Johnny Wardle, formerly Yorkshire and England Cricketer, received rave reviews for the pitches he had prepared. The Roses Dinner was held at the Racecourse Grandstand Restaurant after the match. Peter Wyatt and Colin Maxwell put forward proposals to organise and fund an International Tournament at Doncaster.

1983/4 The first Doncaster International Festival was held on 17, 18, 19th September. Teams from Paris St Germain, Hockey Express Barcelona, Inverleith, Southport, St Albans, Clodhoppers and Doncaster took part in a wonderful weekends hockey that was won eventually by St Germain. Peter and Colin raised a good deal of money to support the International teams and Simon Glazik and Graeme Gibson took over the organisation of the very successful event (with a little help from their friends) . Yorkshire, with the help of Doncaster players, won the HA County Championship for the first time....and John Marshall was still President of YCHA.

1986 Doncaster reached the last 16 of the HA Cup beating 2-0 in the 3rd round in extra time. Lewes prevented us reaching the quarter finals, however, by beating us 4-2 in extra time.

1987/8 Atrocious weather left standing water on some areas of the ground for three months. As a result many home games were cancelled. Notwithstanding this, the 1st X1 completed their Yorkshire League programme by coming 3rd and thus qualifying for the playoffs for the National Leagues, which were to be introduced the following season. Doncaster players continued to represent Yorkshire at all levels. 1988At the playoffs, to determine which of the top 32 clubs in the country would form the two divisions of the inaugural National League in 1988-89, Doncaster were successful in qualifying for a place in the National League Division 2. Negotiations commenced with DMBC for a Council funded astroturf pitch on the Doncaster Dome site. British Ropes kindly agreed to sponsor Doncaster 1st X1 in the National League for 2 years. Roy Blomfield finished an 8 year stint as team secretary.

1988/9 Doncaster 1st X1 ended their first season in the National League in 5th place in Division 2. All home games were played at Newark. Doncaster Indoor 1st team progressed to the last 8 and played in the National Indoor Championships at Crystal Palace, London. The Yorkshire 2nd X1 League was formed and Doncaster 2nd X1 finished up as runners-up in its inaugural season. They also won the Royal Bank of Scotland 2nd X1 Cup beating Wakefield in the final.

1989/90 A season of honours for the Club with the following being selected: Alan Stoves for Yorkshire and the North of England, Alastair West for Yorkshire and the County Indoor squad, Simon Glazik for the County Indoor squad and appointed to be the squads manager, Roger Middleton and Peter Wyatt to the County Vets side and Steven Brookes U21 selector. Also, 2 U21s and 3 U18s were selected for Yorkshire, the County Indoor squads, and Steve (Spam) Hamilton made it into the final England U16 squad. Former member Mike Hamilton was appointed Director of Coaching at the HA. Sadly, Colin Sanderson, son of J. G. (Sandy) Sanderson, died in August 1990.

1990/1 Excellent season with the 1st X1 retaining its National league status, participating in the Ha Cup and being Yorkshire Cup finalists. The Club's Indoor squad and the U21 team won their respective Yorkshire Cups and six 1st X1, two U21 and two U18 players represented Yorkshire County sides. Our planning application was submitted in 1990 for an astroturf pitch to be constructed at the Club, to be funded by the Club, the Foundation for the Sports and the Arts, and the Sports Council.

1991/2 Steve Brookes coached and Alan Stoves, Alastair West, Mark Wood and John Pearson played in the Yorkshire side that won the County Championship. The England U18 team was captained by Nick Conway. The 1st X1 moved to an astroturf pitch at Quibell Park, Scunthorpe.

1993 Planning permission was granted for the construction of an astroturf pitch at the Club grounds. The Foundation for the Sports and the Arts allocated £150 000 for the pitch, the Sports Council another £75 000, plus a loan all on condition that the Club raised the rest of the required sum. David Miller took responsibility for the construction contract, ably supported by a small committee. The target date for completion of the pitch was set as the summer of 1994.

1993/4 Doncaster 1st X1 ended the season at the bottom of the National League Division 2 but became the first Club side to regain National League status via the Inter-League play-offs. Sadly, in 1994, the Club President, Chris Bryant, died on 18th March.

July 1994 The Apollo artificial grass pitch was oficially opened by the Mayor of Doncaster. This was the culmination of six years of effort to establish the facility and marked a supreme milestone in the Club's history. To set the ball rolling, so to speak, thirteen games were played against invited opposition over the inaugural weekend 23rd-24th July. The Club raised funds by a sponsored 12 hour fun run. A contract for the long term use of the pitch was agreed with Hall Cross School. Ken West was appointed Astro Manager.

July 1994/5 Grand Slam! Doncaster won all 4 Yorkshire Cup competitions - 1st X1, 2nd X1, U21 and Veterans - the first club to win all four cups in the same season. The 2nd X1 also won their league. John Marshall was elected Club President and David Miller Club Chairman. The Club hosted the County Championships in May. Alastair West, Simon Glazik, Alan Stoves and Mark West were presented with Silver Salvers in recognition of playing 100 National League matches for Doncaster. Ten members qualified as league umpires.

1996/7 Grand Slam again! All four Yorkshire Cup Competitions won again in the same season. The National League was reorganised and Doncaster became members of Division 1. Steve Brooks elevated to the International Umpires List.

1997 1st X1 gain promotion to the Premier Division of the N ational League having finished second in Division 1. 2nd X1 won the Northern premier Division 1 and the 3rd X1 won the Yorkshire League Division 2. The DTFSC secured a lottery grant for the total refurbishment of the clubhouse and changing facilities.

1997/8 Club secure a major sponsorship deal with Apollo Travel. 1st X1 won the Yorkshire Cup, but unfortunately they were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the season. U21s won the Yorkshire Cup. Mark Wood invited to train with the England squad - but not selected for the final team. Special members Meeting agreed to changes in the Club's Constitution to facilitate the formation of Doncaster Hockey Club as an umbrella organisation with the Men's, Ladies' and Juniors' sections autonomous within that organisation, but ultimately responsible to it. Much hard bargaining took place!! DHC to have responsibility for managing, running and marketing the astropitch.

1998/9 Another Grand Slam Year! All four Yorkshire Cups won in the same season again. The 1st X1 lost in the fifth round of the HA Cup 3-1 to Old Loughtonians. The 2nd X1 gained promotion to the Northern Counties Premier League Division 1, having come second in their league. Inaugural meeting of the Umbrella Club held on 25/1/99 after some earlier postponement for individual sections to clarify their positions. New Constitution and Rules now adopted. John Marshall elected the first President and David Miller the first Chairman.

1999 - 2000 The 1st X1 won the Yorkshire Cup for the sixth season running, beating Hull 1-0. The Vets entered the National Vets Cup for the first time, losing to a very strong East Grinstead team in the fifth round. Barry Middleton selected for the England U16 team and Tarran Nijjar for the England U18 team. The Club was proud to receive the awards for being the Most Hospitable Club in both the Men's National league Division 1 and the Women's National League Premier Division.

* In 46 years Doncaster Hockey Club (men) has had but 2 Hon. Secretaries - Jack Walters and George Mabon - and 2 Hon. Treasurers - John Marshall and Simon Glazik.

** Throughout the century, Doncaster Hockey Club with excellent club spirit and comradeship has continued to strive to maintain the high standards it has set itself, both on and off the field. Long may it continue!


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