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Reliving the Wembley Magic is a panel discussion produced in partnership with Talk Hockey Radio to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the first women's hockey match at Wembley Stadium in 1951. 

https://youtu.be/Jc1RfcR1SNY

 

3 March 2021 marks the 70th anniversary of the first England women’s hockey international at Wembley Stadium on 3 March 1951 and The Hockey Museum, in partnership with Talk Hockey Radio and The Hockey Family, is involved in several activities to celebrate the anniversary.

Up until the late 1940s the usual venue for England test matches was The Oval cricket ground, but the move to the iconic Wembley Stadium in 1951 proved to be a master stroke by the All England Women’s Hockey Association (AEWHA). An annual event there was established which continued until 1991 with 41 matches played. England won 25 and lost just 10 playing against the likes of Ireland, Wales and Scotland, but also Germany, Canada, USA, South Africa, Australia, the Netherlands and others in what must now be understood as an iconic era for women’s hockey, and for women’s sport in general. The only occasion the game had to be moved from Wembley was in 1970 when the White City Stadium replaced a waterlogged Wembley.

The inaugural Wembley game, won by England 6-1 against Ireland, attracted a crowd of 30,000 and the largest attendance of 68,000 in 1976 to see England defeat Scotland 3-0 was a world record for a women’s sporting event until very recently. The event was televised for the first time in 1954 and the Queen was the guest of honour in 1981, touring the stadium in an open-topped Land Rover.

To promote the anniversary, The Hockey Museum, in partnership with Talk Hockey Radio and The Hockey Family, has produced a podcast of a panel discussion co-hosted by Kate Richardson-Walsh and featuring former England captains Anita White and Maggie Souyave, as well as Christabel Russell Vick, the daughter of Mary Russell Vick, whose family were key to realising this iconic fixture. Christabel is co-author of THM's book The Magic of Wembley with former England international Nan Williams.


The Talk Hockey Radio podcast on the panel is available across most podcasting platforms. Choose your favourite by clicking here.

The Hockey Museum’s website also has an article by Christabel reflecting on her parents’ involvement in the decision to move to Wembley from The Oval, as well as her own personal memories. Click here to read the article.

The book The Magic of Wembley chronicles the full story of the Wembley era. Details for purchasing can be found here.

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