Obituaries

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Peter Savage courtesy of Peter SavageIt is with great sadness that The Hockey Museum records the untimely death of one of its greatest supporters and friends. Peter has given so much to hockey and he had hoped to do so much more. He accepted the inevitability of his illness with amazing bravery and even humour. You can read his comments on his last journey on his Rabbit in my Head website.

Peter found hockey quite by chance. He hailed from North London and there was no hockey at his rugby playing school. During a particularly wet winter when even the rugby pitches were unavailable, the PE master found some shinty sticks and the boys exercised on the playground. Peter’s love of hockey was born. It is fitting to note that his introduction to hockey was with an historic version of the game.

After leaving school he began to play at club level and, by his own admission, he was not a very skilled field player, so he moved into goal. However the club had five goalkeepers for four teams and he turned to umpiring. His hockey career proceeded, sometimes on the field, mainly in goal and often with the whistle but he proudly boasted of being a player from age nineteen to forty-three. As work moved Peter around he played for a number of clubs, including Beckenham, South Saxons and Brighton and Hove, as well as for the Sussex Constabulary.

It was towards the end of his police career that Peter’s interest in journalism came to the fore. He was asked to do a regular umpiring feature for Hockey Sport magazine and to obtain photographs to accompany his writing he began to take his own pictures. His modest camera was regularly updated as his skills developed and he became one of hockey’s most accomplished photographers.

His passion for hockey took him all over the world – to many Hockey World Cups (both outdoors and indoors), European Championships, Champions Trophies and of course the London Olympics. When asked what his most exciting hockey photographic experience was, his answer was the 2012 London Olympics. However he only obtained accreditation at the last minute as the demand for Press Passes was the highest ever. Initially rejected, he ‘got in’ because the demise of the News of the World meant that extra passes became available. That may have been lucky but Peter was a firm believer that one makes one’s own luck in life. He certainly did that in the 2009 European Championship final between England and Germany. All Peter’s photographer colleagues fancied a German win (and goals) so positioned themselves at the England goal end. Peter was alone at the German end and with England winning 5-3 he got the best shots. We are proud and grateful to say that Peter’s photographic archive is now housed at The Hockey Museum.

Peter also held a number of administrative posts as a member of the Sports Journalists’ Association, the International Sports Press Association, and was also a committee member and chairman of the Hockey Writers’ Club.

His journalistic skills were to be further extended to include the spoken word. Quite by chance he became the regular announcer and commentator for a local horse show, because the regular man disappeared! He enjoyed this and was soon doing work for Radio Sussex and it was not long before he started his Talk Hockey Radio with weekly podcasts. These interviews and spoken stories now form part of the oral history project at The Hockey Museum. It was the knowledge of Peter’s experience in this area that drew us to him when we began to consider oral history. His advice and encouragement were invaluable in setting up our Heritage Lottery-funded project and it is because of his support that we named the collection after him. As well as having Peter’s podcasts in our collection we were able to do a full oral history with Peter last summer. Your compiler of this appreciation has written many similar pieces over the years, however to obtain more information for this I was able to listen to the interview Peter gave us last year. It was the first time I have been able to refer to the spoken as opposed to the written word and it was comforting to listen to his familiar, friendly voice chatting away about the many aspects of his hockey life. To listen to the interview yourself, click here.

Peter Savage 70th cakeThere were other loves in Peter’s life beyond hockey and one was railways. His recent 70th birthday was marked with a superb cake (right) that included three dimensional imagery of a train and a camera. However, the greatest love in Peter’s life was undoubtedly his wife and best friend Stella. To see them together said it all and all of us at The Hockey Museum send our love and condolences to Stella at this difficult time.

Mike Smith, The Hockey Museum Curator
6 February 2017

Obituaries: An Introduction

This features page contains obituaries, previously appearing in the News section of the website, of persons who have made a significant contribution to hockey’s history. They are all people who have been in the forefront of innovation in the sport. This section of the website is the go-to location to...

Barbara West, 1913-2014

Barbara West, 1913-2014

It is with great sadness that The Hockey Museum (THM) reports the death of Barbara West, who died last month aged 100. Born on 9 November 1913, she died five days short of 101st birthday. Known to all as ‘Bar’, she was an outstanding servant of women’s hockey for over...

Baroness Rachael Heyhoe Flint, 1939-2017

Baroness Rachael Heyhoe Flint, 1939-2017

I was very saddened by the recent announcement of the death of Rachael Heyhoe Flint. Having listened to the many tributes on the TV and radio and read the extensive newspaper coverage on front, media, sports and obituaries pages, you could be in no doubt that Rachael was not only...

Bill Colwill OBE, 1930-2016

Bill Colwill OBE, 1930-2016

Bill Colwill (right) receives the Doug Gardner Award in 2007.   Bill Colwill OBE, 15 October 1930–13 November 2016 Tributes from the hockey family around the world have poured in following the death of Bill Colwill, aged 86, at the weekend. In a hockey career spanning over six decades Bill...

Etienne Glichitch

It is with great sadness that the International Hockey Federation learned of the death of Etienne Glichitch at the age of 90 years. The Frenchman was the Honorary Secretary of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) from 1966 until 1984, when he became President, a post which he held until 1996....

Gerald Wilkinson, 1934-2017

"Chasing tomorrow’s horizons with yesterday’s legs”   Gerald Wilkinson, 01.09.1934-17.04.2017 The Hockey Museum is saddened to report the passing of Gerald Wilkinson, an English pioneer of Masters and Grand Masters hockey, aged 82, after a year-long battle with leukaemia and motor neurone disease. A chartered surveyor, his hockey career spanned...

Graham Wilson

Graham Wilson

Graham Wilson (photo credit, Dil Bahra) It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Graham Wilson on Saturday 20 February. Graham, the Chairman of the Hockey Writers' Club, had a life-long involvement in hockey as journalist, player (for Havering HC), supporter and father of two hockey playing children....

John Cranwell

John Cranwell, a former Chairman of the Great Britain Hockey Board and past president of the Welsh Hockey Association, has died at the age of 78. He served on the Great Britain Hockey Board during its challenging times in the 1980s which culminated in Olympic gold in 1988. He was very involved...

Lt Commander Alan Walker RN, 1943-2017

Lt Commander Alan Walker RN, 1943-2017

Lt Commander Alan Walker RN receiving a painting of HMS Victory at the time of the Royal Navy centenary.   Although we knew Alan was very ill, his death on the 17 February came with great sadness to all his friends at The Hockey Museum and throughout the hockey world....

Melvyn Pignon née Hickey, 1930-2016

Melvyn Pignon née Hickey, 1930-2016

Melvyn Pignon who has died at the age of 86 was possibly the best known woman hockey player of her generation. She first played at Kidderminster High School in Worcestershire and went on to train as a PE teacher at Lady Mabel College of Physical Education, beginning her teaching career...

Nancy Tomkins, 1914-2012

09.10.1914 – 30.12.2012 Nancy Tomkins, in her heyday a well known and respected hockey correspondent for The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph and the magazine Hockey Field for many years, died at the age of 98. She had a stroke just before Christmas 2012, rallied, but passed away on 30 December....

Peter Savage, 1947-2017

Peter Savage, 1947-2017

It is with great sadness that The Hockey Museum records the untimely death of one of its greatest supporters and friends. Peter has given so much to hockey and he had hoped to do so much more. He accepted the inevitability of his illness with amazing bravery and even humour....

Robin Forbes Willmott DL, 1926 -2017

Robin Forbes Willmott DL, 1926 -2017

  Robin Willmott   Obituary Over the years, Southgate Hockey Club has had a number of very dedicated members, who have helped to make Southgate Hockey Club the great club that it is today. Robin Willmott was one of them. Robin joined the club in 1948 after National Service in...

Roger Self OBE, 1939-2017

Roger Self OBE, 1939-2017

Roger Self OBE with THM's Evelyn Somerville at Champions Trophy 2016.   Roger Self OBE, who led Britain's men's team to Olympic gold in 1988, died at home on Monday 5 June. He had been suffering from inclusion body myositis for the last 12 years. He was 77. His wife...

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