Trustee Biographies

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John Willmott

John Willmott – Chair

John Willmott has hockey in his blood as he has been attending hockey matches for most weeks of his life since his birth and has regularly attended many festivals at home and abroad. He still plays veterans hockey for Southgate and summer hockey for Pistons. He has been President of both and has been a Chairman of several businesses over the years. He is a Trustee of Sportsaid’s Eastern Region and a recently retired Chair of a prep school.

John is married with five children and lives in Hungerford, Berkshire. He is from the fifth generation of a family run construction and property company and sat on the National Council of the Chartered Institute of Building. In addition and following his involvement as the Stadium Director for the 1986 Hockey World Cup in London, he became an artificial turf pitch consultant. This was then followed by working as a volunteer at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul for GB Hockey and the British Olympic Association. He has worked on many of the elite hockey installations throughout the UK and for a variety of school and university sports facilities including making many grant aid applications. John was also appointed for the 2012 London Olympics hockey training facility at Chigwell which was replicated at Riverbank.

Mike Smith

Mike Smith – Curator and Trustee

Mike Smith is a 'Baby Boomer' who learned his hockey from the cradle thanks to his hockey enthusiast father who learned his hockey at school in India. He played his first club match at the age of 12 and continued for over fifty years, also taking on administrative roles at club, county and national levels, taking in outdoor, indoor, umpiring and coaching, becoming one of the first Hockey Assocation (HA) coaches in the early 1970s.

In founding specialist hockey company Mercian in 1974, Mike's involvement in hockey became even greater. Shortly after, by marrying hockey player Judy and producing two hockey-playing sons, a total hockey family was created. The birth of Mercian enabled the collection of hockey material of all kinds – maybe the start of The Hockey Museum (THM)?

Involvement in the London World Cup of 1986 saw the first display of hockey memorabilia and planted the seeds of what was to come. In June 1992, with the impending National Hockey Stadium at Milton Keynes, Mike and David Wareham were asked by Phil Appleyard, the then HA President, to become joint honorary curators of The Hockey Museum based at the new stadium. A few ‘ups and downs’ ensued, but in 2011, with Mike retired from Mercian, an offer of a home from Woking Borough Council saw the re-birth of the dream of a dedicated museum for hockey and Mike became one of THM's founder Trustees. The rest, as they say, is history, but that is what THM is all about.

philip kimberleyPhilip Kimberley – Trustee (and former Interim Chair)

Philip Kimberley comes to THM with a wealth of experience following a successful business career including twenty years’ senior international leadership (Chair/CE) experience in a ‘blue chip’ multinational company. Chairman of England Hockey from 2002 to 2015, where he led a complete rebuild of the organisation to a position where it is now recognised as one of the best run governing bodies in British sport. Under his stewardship, the organisation set on the road to its highest ever participation figures and was awarded the right to host numerous major events including the 2018 Women’s World Cup. He has also served on other boards, notably UK Sport, Sports Coach UK as well as UK Sport's anti-doping project board. He has been recognised for his considerable contributions to sport being awarded the Community Sport and Recreation Emeritus Award in 2015 and an OBE in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours. Philip is also a member and Trustee of Gerrards Cross Hockey Club. 

Mike BarfordMike Barford  Treasurer and Trustee

Mike Barford graduated from Cambridge University in 1971 with a degree in Mathematics. After 3 years teaching at Christ's Hospital (CH), he trained as a Chartered Accountant, becoming a partner in 1985 in Deloitte, where he co-founded the Forensic Services Department, specialising in providing expert accounting advice to clients involved in disputes. After retiring in 2003, he was for many years Treasurer of the Surrey Cricket Board and a Trustee of Eastbourne College Inc., and is currently Treasurer of a Charitable Foundation which supports pupils at CH and Treasurer of the University Hockey Match Organising Committee. Mike played hockey for Cambridge University, Sussex and Richmond, of which he is a former 1st XI captain and club President. He also played cricket for Cambridge University, and retains an active role in several cricket clubs. Since 2006, he has led the volunteer team in the CH Museum, where he is Honorary Curator.

imogen gibbonImogen Gibbon – Trustee

Imogen Gibbon graduated from the University of St Andrews with an MA (Hons) in Art History, subsequently gained an MSc in Archive Administration from Aberystwyth University. From 1997 until 2002 she was Curator of Historic Photographs and Ship Plans at the National Maritime Museum Greenwich before moving on to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in 2002 to became Senior Curator of the Reference Section. In 2013, she took up her current role of Chief Curator and Deputy Director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery where she has been responsible for initiating and delivering many successful exhibitions.

Imogen says she is thrilled to have been appointed as one of the new Trustees for The Hockey Museum. She added “the development of THM Collection – both the objects and archives  is pivotal to achieving the objective of placing the Museum at the centre of the heritage of hockey in the UK and internationally. I look forward to bringing my twenty-plus years of professional museum and gallery experience to assisting with the development and exhibition of the Collection which by 2020 will be the world’s leading hockey museum and archive”. She is also very much looking forward to her first ‘back to hockey’ session as part of her role as a THM Trustee.

Mike JoyceMike Joyce – International Hockey Federation-nominated Trustee

Mike Joyce graduated from the University of Leicester in 1997 with a degree in Sport Science and Mathematics.

Born to a hockey family of Anglo-Indian decent, Mike is passionate about the sport. He has been a player, coach, umpire, club official and volunteer all his life, and has held various professional roles in hockey and wider sport. He co-founded Futures Sports, a provider of international residential hockey camps, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2021.

Following six years as the National Development Manager for England Hockey from 1999 to 2005, Mike moved to Switzerland to help run a ski school and to lecture in Sport Science. Since then, he has held positions with the International Olympic Committee, was Executive Director of The Hockey Foundation and now heads up Education & Development for the International Hockey Federation. Out of work, Mike is a member of Stade Lausanne Hockey Club and Head Coach of Switzerland U18 Boys.

Tochi Panesar

Tarlochan Singh Panesar – Trustee

Tochi Panesar has been very passionate about hockey for as long as he can remember. His family can vouch for this as, over the years, hockey may have taken priority over the odd family engagement!

Tochi was born in the Indian state of Punjab. At the age of five he and his family migrated to Nairobi, Kenya where his love of hockey was sparked. In 1971 he finally settled in England when he moved to South London.

The first club he joined in England was Merton Hockey Club, followed by Hampstead HC. In 1975 he joined Spencer Hockey Club and has been loyal to them ever since!

At Spencer, Tochi captained the First XI in the 1980s for six years, played for most of the teams on the ‘way down’ and has since captained the Masters team for a number of years. He had also enjoyed being an integral part of the club’s leadership, taking on the roles of Club Captain, Chairman and President of the Hockey Club. He went on to be Chairman of the Spencer multi-sports club for ten years (hockey, cricket, squash, tennis, and lacrosse), a role he was proud to undertake.

Tochi has played county hockey and has been a member of prominent invitational clubs, for example London Indians, Lusitanians, and Members HC, forging strong friendships along the way,

Tochi has also enjoyed coaching both colts teams and senior teams. He has played and managed the Surrey over 60s team and equally the South Divisional over 60s and 65s teams.

Tochi still enjoys regularly playing for the Spencer Grand Masters team. He also played in the over 65s Masters World Cup in Barcelona in 2018 and the European Cup in Antwerp in 2019.

In business Tochi worked in the IT industry with Lloyds Bank for 30 years, specifically within the banking service delivery and infrastructure environment, where he held a number of senior roles and delivered major infrastructure projects. He retired in 2004 and since then he has spent time with family, taken on voluntary roles at Spencer and also worked as an IT freelancer.

Paul Harvey

Paul Harvey – Trustee

Paul Harvey is an American Studies & History graduate from the University College Ripon & York St John. He began his career with GlaxoSmithKline before progressing through a range of senior marketing roles with global brands such as Heinz, Colgate and LEGOLAND.

Paul first picked up a hockey stick at school when he played for Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School in an era when they regularly attended the National Schools finals and produced a number of international players. Early hockey memories include attending the Hockey World Cup as a schoolboy in 1986, regular school and colts matches at the ‘home pitch’ of Bisham Abbey, and occasional rare trips onto grass to play his first adult hockey for Marlow Hockey Club as a youngster.

Having drifted away from playing, Paul was lured back at Ashford (Middlesex) Hockey Club as an adult after both his children began to play. Having coached in the junior section and begun playing again for the men’s section, Paul subsequently moved west to live on the Berkshire/Hampshire border, where he joined South Berkshire Hockey Club and continues to coach and play today.

Nick Pink – England Hockey-nominated Trustee

Nick Pink bio here.


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