Hockey fest hits 40th anniversary

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HOCKEY players from all over Lincolnshire, and beyond, will be stepping down memory lane over Easter as the Skegness Hockey Festival celebrates its 40th year.

Organisers hope to welcome back players who have taken part in any of the tournaments over the years.

And there will be those, like Richard Hill, who have played in all of them.

Memorabilia and old photographs will be on display as the players reminisce about the last four decades.

It all started in the early 1970s when Bruce Frearson and Don Holmes felt the excellent grass pitches at Richmond Drive should be celebrated.

Don and Gill Holmes continued to organise the events until 1988, when Richard Watson took over. He has since handed over the reins to Phil and Sue Maddison.

When it started there were nine mens teams and five ladies sides, from all over the country.

Since then it has attracted up to 28 teams in any one year, including outfits from Holland, Germany and Belgium.

Regionally there have been regular visits from sides based in Leicester, Kettering, Mansfield and Hinckley, as well as appearances from dozens of Lincolnshire clubs.

Richard Hill continues to play, having taken part in all of the festivals, and this year he will be joined by local stalwarts like Lara Potts, Debbie Skipworth, Lisa Smith and Pauline Forman, who have taken part in many of them.

The festival starts at 4pm on Friday April 6 with a match between Old Boys and Horseshoes from Long Sutton. This will be followed by karaoke in the clubhouse from 7.30pm.

The main hockey will take place on the Saturday and Easter Sunday between 10am and 5pm.

Between 1pm and 3pm on the Saturday there will also be a chance for ex-players to catch up with old friends and share memories and old photographs of previous years’ tournaments.

On the Saturday evening there will be a celebration disco at the Marine Boathouse in Skegness.

The organisers are keen to reach as many ex-players as possible to share their special event.

For further information contact Pauline Forman on 07784 643363.