The Ed’s were officially formed in 1997 by Edward Simpson, we competed in the JFK Memorial in Washington D.C, I believe winning the plate against India A! Ed’s in their first league year - 1998 - having successfully recruited a squad of 22 players and keepers, went onto to win Surrey County 1st XI div 2 in their first year. We really had a great squad, Spencer McDonald I think was player of the season! The Ed’s were quickly being recognised as not only a great hockey side, but one that looked beyond hockey with an amazing social life, it was not unheard of for various members to still be in shin pads, Ed’s shorts, socks, and top, having had a skinful at the then infamous Legless Ladder (legless being the right word) to go onto The Grand, only to be refused entry whilst protesting that they were in a uniform and should be allowed in, with nowhere else to go but the Wessex House.
Every one had an ‘Ed’ nickname, so for example ‘Nurse’ might become ‘NurseEd’, Spence was ‘FluffEd’, others were MattEd, Ed K, Ed S (we got off lightly!),Von BlottEd, TimEd, HailEd, StupEd, and so forth, maybe time to resurrect an Ed handle for all Ed’s today?!
We put lot of effort into the Ed’s brand, sponsors (Ed’s Easy Diner, John Smiths Smooth, Lucozade, Hockey Centre, The Legless Ladder, etc perfect sponsors!), the teams, where we played, how we played, website, that combined made for a lasting experience, this as you can imagine was way different to what was being offered by other clubs at the time, like one which was founded in 1905 in Wandsworth…which we broke loose from to set up the Ed’s.
By season three we had 2 mens teams, a ladies 1st XI – Fiona Morris was inspirational in helping me expand the club, and by season 5 we had 3 mens teams, and four ladies teams… With the club growing fast, we were competing in both league and cup, one of which saw us take on March Town in the semi’s of the H.A Trophy – our bus broke down in Stevenage, we had to get taxi’s for the rest of the journey, we pulled off the impossible, celebrations followed with every man of us drinking their club house dry, my lasting memory was the journey on the minibus back to the Legless Ladder in Battersea. Cries of "Stop the bus we need to wee wee", and seeing 15 Ed’s line up in branded Ed’s jackets at the side of a busy A1.
The Ed’s continue to go from strength to strength, facing new challenges, making new and renewing old contacts, always social, playing great hockey, and I genuinely believe that what we have all achieved is a belief in each other as players, as a team, as a club, and to field hockey in general.
The brand ‘Ed’s’ is known throughout the Hockey world – we even competed in Hong Kong 9’s mixed tournament! - from encouraging your fellow ‘Ed’s’ on the sidelines, to continue the drive and impetus already achieved would be great to see the Club in National league for both men’s and ladies, to have 5 Ed’s mens and 6 ladies Ed’s, several colts Ed’s, and their own Clubhouse!?
My thanks to pastEd’s and currentEd’s.