Player-Issued Caps

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Honours caps are caps that are presented to individuals or teams to commemorate or mark a special occasion, or reward a special achievement. Historically these have been issued in various sports and are considered a highly valued item by its holder.

The evolution of the modern game of hockey occurred during the Victorian era, with the creation of real leisure time brought about by changes in legislation between 1833 and 1847. The formation of works teams began, with the influence of their public school educated management. The awarding of player-issued sporting caps at public schools had been common place for some time and was now beginning to surface in these new clubs, being formed outside of the public schools and colleges with the influence of their ex-pupils.

With the information currently available to us, we know that the awarding of caps to hockey players at club and international level can be traced back to at least the time of the first international matches in 1895. This is not to say that they were not awarded prior to this, but documented records regarding these early days of hockey are often sketchy at best. Our journey to identify the early caps at all levels has only just begun and we will continue to update this page as the history unfolds.

 

Caps Ireland Mens Hockey Team 1895       Caps Wales 1898 
The first Ireland hockey team 1895 – with caps.
Courtesy of the Irish Hockey Archives.
  Picture of the Wales Hockey Team from
Hockey magazine, 4 March 1898.

 

Today, to be capped is an expression used as a measure of how many times someone has played for a particular team. The awarding of physical caps does not take place every time and is often an award, akin to a trophy, for milestone appearances.

 

Caps Ireland 50 Cap


Ireland 50 game hockey cap.

Courtesy of the Irish Hockey Archive.

 

The frequency of issuing at different times in history, at different levels of the sport and in different countries varies considerably; we are on a mission to document as much of this information as we can. As an example, the Irish hockey team began issuing caps to players at their first game in 1895. If they played in subsequent years then these years would be embroidered on the original cap. Nowadays, they only issue caps for landmark achievements, e.g. 50, 100 or 200 caps.

 

Player-Issued Caps At The Hockey Museum.


The Hockey Museum (THM) currently has a small but growing selection of caps which we are keen to build upon.

Here are examples of caps currently residing in the museum’s collection, showing both some older examples as well as some more modern ones.

 

Caps Midland Counties 01        Caps Midland Counties 02 
   Two Midland Counties Hockey Association caps, from THM collection.

 

 

Caps Maggie Souyave 01        Caps Maggie Souyave 02 
 Two caps awarded to Maggie Souyave in honour of her England appearances, from THM collection.

 

We are keen to increase this collection to gain more information about caps that colleges, clubs and national teams have issued during their history.

If you have any caps or information and would like to share this with us, or if you have any caps that you would consider donating, please contact THM's caps expert This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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