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The Hockey Museum has had its first sight of a 1920 Olympic gold medal. It was won by Harry Haslam, the Great Britain goalkeeper at the Antwerp Games, and has been loaned to the Museum, together with other memorabilia, by Haslam’s family.

It will be displayed at a private presentation at the Museum on 5 September, when members of Haslam’s family will receive his Great Britain honours cap. Saturday is the centenary of the final day of the 1920 Olympic hockey tournament, played as a round robin event, and the centenary of the awarding of gold medals to the GB team. GB had beaten Denmark (5-1), hosts Belgium (12-1) and were awarded a walkover in their final game against France to secure gold. The official launch and presentation of honours caps to the Great Britain teams, most of whom will be going to the Tokyo Olympics, will be made at a Pro League weekend next May.

Besides the gold medal, the memorabilia includes an oil painting of Haslam, an Antwerp participation medal and civilian medals.

The Antwerp medal (as described below on the Olympics website) is of gold gilt, unlike the 1908 London Olympic gold medal held on loan by The Hockey Museum, and looks more like silver. It is believed less expensive metal was used because money was still scarce so soon after World War One.

Gold medal Antwerp 1920 front       Gold medal Antwerp 1920 reverse 
Harry Haslam’s gold medal from the Antwerp Olympic Games of 1920.
Font: left / Obverse: right

The 1920 Antwerp Olympic Medal is described on the official Olympic website thus:

"On the obverse, a tall, naked athlete, holding in his left hand a palm leaf and a laurel crown, symbols of victory. Behind him, the figure of the Renommée playing the trumpet. In the background, a frieze with a Greek motif with the inscription "VII OLYMPIADE" underneath.

On the reverse, the Antwerp monument, commemorating the legend of Brabo throwing into the Scheldt the hand of the giant Druoon Antigoon, who had been terrorizing the river. In the background, the cathedral and port of Antwerp. In the top half, the inscription “ ANVERS MCMXX ”.

The legend says that in Antiquity, this cruel giant forced all vessels on the river to pay a toll. If the captain refused to pay, he cut off his hand. The giant spread terror amongst the sailors for many long years, until the day he met Silvius Brabo. This courageous Roman soldier dared to take on the giant and succeeded in killing him. As revenge for his victims, he cut off the giant's hand and threw it into the river. This is where the name of the city comes from – “Antwerp" means "thrown hand."

Participation medal Antwerp 1920 front      Participation medal Antwerp 1920 reverse

Harry Haslam’s participation medal from the Antwerp Olympic Games of 1920.
Font: left / Obverse: right

Great Britain’s gold medal at the 1920 Antwerp Olympic Games came under strange circumstances, allegedly arising from a misguided piece of skulduggery.

Only four nations competed at these Games and, after round robin matches, the gold medal was to be decided by the last game between Great Britain and France.

The Ilford Recorder in an article on the GB goalkeeper Harry Haslam, whose club was Ilford HC, on July 18 1996 described the affair thus:

“Great Britain’s opponents invited our lads out on the town – with the intention of drinking them legless. The French found their opponents were made of sterner stuff than themselves in the hangover league and the inebriated opposition actually conceded the next day’s final following their mutual night out on the town.”

Another source, also penned many decades later, refers to an epidemic near the French team’s accommodation. This may of course be a tactful way of suggesting the French team were the worse for wear, or it could be sincere.

The French finished last after losing their other two games.

GB Hockey Team Antwerp Olympic Games 1920 from THM collection 1040 low res 
An informal photograph of the Great Britain hockey team at the Antwerp Olympic Games of 1920.

Saturday 5 September 2020 is the centenary of Great Britain’s gold medal win at the 1920 Antwerp Olympic Games and this anniversary is being marked by a very special event at The Hockey Museum in Woking on Centenary Day.

Extensive research by a group of volunteers at The Hockey Museum over the last five years on Great Britain’s (GB) player history has produced a record of 366 men and 210 women who have represented GB since the first official international matches. The research concluded that the 1920 team was the first to represent Britain and Harry Haslam, as the goalkeeper, is designated as men’s player No. 1 and his family will receive his GB cap at a presentation ceremony at the Museum on the Centenary Day.

Great Britain Hockey Team Antwerp Olympic Games 1920 lower res 
Great Britain Men's Hockey Team (not England as written), Antwerp Olympic Games 1920.
Harry Haslam is standing furthest left in his goalkeeping leg guards.

Image courtesy of Marlborough College. 

Each of the other players, including those no longer alive and former living internationals, will receive their cap during the coming year, the deceased via their families. It is planned that current GB central training squad members will receive theirs during Great Britain’s home FIH Pro League games next May.

At the Antwerp Games, where only four nations competed, GB’s route to the gold medal took a late controversial final turn. After victories over Denmark (5-1) and Belgium (12-1) the gold medal was secured by a walkover against France.

Born in Aston, Birmingham in 1883, Harry Haslam first played hockey in the Midlands including representing Worchestershire before moving to Essex in the early part of the 20th century. After two seasons with the Guildhall club he moved to Essex where he joined Ilford HC, staying with them for 18 years until returning to Guildhall in 1929.

He won his county cap for Essex in 1911 and was appointed honorary secretary in the same year. He went on to captain the county and never missed a game for them for over 12 years from his debut. He also represented the East and in 1920 made his England debut aged 37.

Harry Haslam low resHe won nine international caps, seven for England and two for GB (Antwerp Olympic Games), the last against Scotland in March 1921.

His style of play was apparently on a par with his ability to hold his drink and he was noted for his eccentricity on the pitch. The Ilford Recorder in an article on a game in December 1912 reported that Haslam “made several brilliant saves but, for some unaccountable reason, accompanied each effort with a ‘whoop’ like a proverbial scalp hunter.”

During his playing career he was a hockey correspondent for the Chelmsford Chronicle and then the national News Chronicle as well as the regular hockey expert on BBC Radio. In 1922 his book How to Play Hockey was published.

He retired from playing hockey at the age of 48 in 1932 but continued to be active within the game in various administrative roles and as a prominent umpire.

During World War One Haslam served as a Chief Inspector with the Metropolitan Special Constabulary and in 1920 he received an OBE for his services to the Constabulary.

He died at home on his 72nd birthday.


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Contact details can be found therein.


One of our wonderful volunteers Mark Evans has recently had an article published as a chapter in Playing Pasts, the online magazine for sport and leisure history. “Women’s League Hockey and its Early Development” forms one of several chapters on the history of different sports, so anyone interested in sports history might find the book interesting – and it’s free to read.

Needless to say, we’re delighted for Mark. It is deserved recognition of his dedication to his research and his enthusiasm for volunteering with us.

Click here to access the magazine.

Mark says:

"My research interest in women's leagues arose from an initial enquiry from The Hockey Museum in relation to the 'English Cup'. Two photographs were sent to the museum asking for information about the Cup and I began to look into its history and the teams that played in the competition.

The competition was run by the English Ladies Hockey Leagues Association (ELHLA) which looked after the interests of the women's hockey leagues in the North of England and particularly in the South Lancashire area. I began to look into the history of women's league hockey which was thought to be a small part of the hockey scene because competitive hockey was frowned upon and had been largely banned, especially in the South. However, we now know that league hockey was more important than was initially thought and to date I have found evidence for around 30 leagues in England. Many of the teams in the leagues were church based, works based or school based with past pupils wanting to continue playing hockey.

I am continuing my research into the history of league hockey and am currently looking into the history of the Northern Counties Women's Hockey Tournament. It was created for counties but involved some leagues which had been given county status."


Playing Pasts Fletcher Street Wesleyans 1915 16
Bolton Sunday School Social League Champions: Fletcher Street Wesleyans, 1915-16.

There are several other research projects currently in or around THM sphere that I’d like to highlight:

  • Hockey’s Military Stories is a broad research project investigating hockey players who have died in conflict. We’ve recently welcomed Kathryn Draper aboard to help us with this.
  • Our research into British hockey festivals continues apace and we’ve welcomed Ian Smith, Paul Mitchell and Steve LeMottee following recent appeals for assistance.
  • James Ormandy continues his remote research working on articles such as “Men’s Hockey in Cheshire before 1914” and “Hockey: The Clergymen's Game”.
  • Our PhD student David Lewis-Earley continues to attack his doctoral research with great enthusiasm. “An Oral History Of England And Team GB Women’s International Hockey Representatives, 1951-2016” is taking excellent shape.
  • Nikhilesh Bhattacharya has completed his PhD thesis titled "When We Were Champions: Nation-Building, Hockey and the Anglo-Indian Community of Calcutta". It now resides in the THM library.
  • Judy Smith has been busy editing transcriptions of THM's oral history interviews (an on-going programme of lived history research) so that they can soon be shared online.
  • We recently published two significant obituaries following excellent research into the lives of the late Audrey Appleby and Balbir Singh Senior by Katie Dodd and Nikhilesh Bhattacharya respectively. Former THM Trustee Dil Bahra also penned a personal commemoration of Balbir.


Mike Smith, THM Curator

You’ll likely be aware that THM has been running a campaign to collect material that documents the impact of COVID-19 on hockey. More information and a fantastic, free time capsule activity pack for children can be found here.

One particularly inspirational story that has reached us as a result of this contemporary collecting came from Moss Park HC in Manchester where half of their playing membership are keyworkers.

Lesley Ginsburgh, a Design & Technology teacher at Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College, Altrincham, marshalled her students to make much-needed protective visors for her community. A car boot full went with her Moss Park teammate Eilidh, a junior doctor, to a local Intensive Treatment Unit (ITU); some went with Jos, a local GP, to her practice and some went to a local care agency managing very high-risk patients. Together, Lesley and her students made 1,700 visors and distributed them to anyone who wanted them, from funeral directors and hospices to mental health teams and school nurses. All would have been short of personal protective equipment (PPE) without her efforts.

You can hear Lesley’s remarkable story in her own words, now preserved within THM’s collection, by watching the video below.


Lesley G PPE Visor     PPE Visors 03     PPE Visors 01
 Lesley in her "rough" first attempt
as discussed in the video.
   Making part of the visors in the
workshop at Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College.

 Completed visors are laid out ready for
distribution (also below).


PPE Visors 02 

Hers is a story that draws a neat parallel with another recently surfaced story of philanthropy and community spirit, but from WW1 – another time of national crisis.

In November 1915 The Hockey Field magazine, then the mouthpiece of the All England Women’s Hockey Association (AEWHA), issued an appeal for hockey players to make fearnought gauntlets for the Royal Navy. 480 pairs of gauntlets (gloves) were urgently needed for the 3rd and 10th Destroyer Flotillas and over 10,000 pairs required for the whole Navy fleet.

Fearnought was a tough insulating wool or flannel-type fabric which prior to WW1 had been used to line the hulls of Arctic and Antarctic exploration vessels. It was obviously a phenomenal insulator. Thinner material such as shoddy or cotton was not sufficient. When it became cold on the ships, particularly bad at night and during the winter, thinner gloves would stick to metal surfaces, which included things like projectiles and the wheels for working the ships' guns and sights. Not wearing gloves wasn't an option because the sailors’ hands would rapidly go numb.

Through appeals like the one in The Hockey Field – which included purchase information and instructions for creating the gauntlets (see below) – the mass production of fearnought gauntlets was realised by a large number of individual acts. Just as people within hockey – individuals like Lesley of Moss Park HC – have come together in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic to offer selfless acts of charity, so too did individual members of the ‘hockey family’ during WW1.

As one naval officer wrote in the Manchester Evening News when appealing for fearnought gauntlets in 1914 (yes, Manchester again), “Don’t be afraid of clumsiness; that does not matter. I assure you nothing would be appreciated more.” Just as Lesley’s first efforts were in her own words “rough”, like the gauntlets their success lay in their practicality and in a personal determination to help others through a crisis.

If you have any material that could be relevant to THM’s #CollectingCOVID campaign or any questions around it, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Fearnought Gloves MEN article 24101914
"Fearnought Gloves for Sailors", The Manchester Evening News, 24 October 1914.
Click the article to view a more easily readable version (you may need to zoom in).



Fearnought Gauntlets The Hockey Field article 04101915
"Fearnought Gauntlets", The Hockey Field, 4 October 1915.
Click the article to view a more easily readable version (you may need to zoom in).

Following recent government advice regarding COVID-19, The Hockey Museum will be closed from Monday 23 March until further notice.

We are taking this decision to protect the health and welfare of our visitors, volunteers and staff. Museum staff will be working from home, our enquiries service will remain monitored and we intend to continue to engage you with historical hockey content through our social media channels and website.

COVID 19 announcement

On Saturday 29 February, THM took advantage of the extra day of 2020 to leap into Old Cranleighan HC for the day.

It builds on previous club visits to Aton HC and Guildford HC in 2019, which together form part of our work towards a Level-Up grant we received from South East Museums Development Partnership.

We took a small display of historical objects, boards, banners and videos to OCHC designed to promote our important work to preserve and celebrate hockey’s 150-year ‘modern’ history and hopefully drum up interest in helping THM to create a real, tangible legacy for the sport.

We also offered the opportunity for members and matchday visitors to bring along any historical memorabilia to discuss, akin to Antiques Roadshow.

We’d like to extend grateful thanks to David Knapp for facilitating this opportunity.


Sophia Patel (left) and Marcus Wardle (right) work their way through the Pat Rowley Journalistic Archive.

A photograph of two people in front of filing cabinets with a scanner may not appear to be the most riveting of subjects, however they are working on one of the most valuable and important collections that The Hockey Museum (THM) possesses.

Our Archivist Marcus Wardle and Research Assistant Sophia Patel are seen working on the Pat Rowley Journalistic Archive that was acquired by THM in 2017. The archive represents the lifetime work of hockey journalist Patrick Rowley who reported on hockey for more than sixty years. We have more than five filing cabinets with the drawers tightly packed full of all manner of hockey-related material. Patrick was one of the most renowned hockey correspondents working in an era when journalism was the principal means of communication. He also did much work with the International Hockey Federation (FIH) editing their World Hockey magazine.

Being a professional museum, we are duty-bound to protect the integrity of this amazing collection. This means that whilst recording and conserving these tens of thousands of documents, photographs, programmes etc. we must retain the original method of its assemblage. It is fair to say that the logic of this is not always apparent, but when all the material is digitised and recorded the collection will be able to be fully interrogated. We don’t believe that any other such archive exists in hockey so hopefully it can be appreciated how important this work is.

Mike Smith, THM Curator

Avtar BhurjiThis week the Museum had a unique visit by Olympian Avtar Bhurji, a member of the Ugandan hockey team that took part in the 1972 Games in Munich which saw the terrorist attack on the Israeli athletes in the Olympic Village. The Ugandans were housed on a level just above the Israelis but only once caught a glimpse of a balaclava-clad terrorist on the higher balcony. They were unaware of the drama unfolding so close to them until the following morning.

It was Uganda’s first and only Olympics and, although they finished 15th of 16, they earned draws in their pool games with Argentina (0-0), West Germany (1-1) and Spain (2-2) before beating Mexico 4-1 for 15th place.

After being taken on a museum visit by the Curator, Mr Bhurji gave an Oral History interview with volunteer Evelyn Somerville which will be posted on the THM website in due course. Particularly welcome gifts to the Museum were a number of memorabilia items from the Games, including a booklet with images and signatures of Uganda’s athletes in a range of sports.

Avtar was born in Punjab in 1944 and lived in Uganda and Kenya, where he sat his GCEs, before continuing his schooling in England at Kingston College, then taking A Levels at Wolfram College, Wolverhampton. He returned briefly to Uganda where he played for Sikh Union club in Kampala (which supplied nine of the 18-man Olympic squad) and was selected for the Munich Olympics.

He returned to the UK soon after those Games, to live in Croydon and play for Blackheath and London Indians. It was back to Kenya in 1984 while his wife, son and daughter stayed in UK, but he came back to England three years later and has lived here ever since, apart from a brief return to Uganda to help a younger brother set up a construction business. He played social hockey with the Llamas before ending his playing career in 1991 and has been an active coach since then. He now lives in Worcester Park, Surrey.

Mike Haymonds, 29.1.2020

Betty ShellenbergerBetty (Shelly) Shellenberger, USA, 8 August 1921 - 30 December 2019.

The Hockey Museum (THM), along with the sporting world, is mourning the passing of Betty Shellenberger, 98. Betty was a legend in American field hockey and lacrosse through much of the 1900s. Known to friends as ‘Shelly’, she first picked up a hockey stick at the age of ten and by eighteen was selected for the national team as their youngest ever player. Betty went on to represent the USA for twenty-one years from 1939 to 1955 with one further appearance in 1960. It is a record for USA Field Hockey that stands to this day.

To read the full obituary on Betty, please visit the Obituaries page of THM website, here.

The End Of An Era For The London League

09 September 2021
The End Of An Era For The London League

  A framed presentation of hockey ties from each of the member clubsof the London Hockey League, presented to Peter Boizot.   This weekend, Sunday the 12 September, sees the last act in the history of the London League, the oldest men's league in England. Formed in 1969, it has...

Letters Know Your Stories Of Hockey Festivals

19 August 2021
Letters Know Your Stories Of Hockey Festivals

The Hockey Museum's hockey festivals study is progressing very well. We have compiled a list of all known festivals which includes the only three still held at Easter: Torbay, Skegness and Blackpool. All three will feature in a book on the history, development and sad demise of the hockey festival....

Abstract Expressionist Hockey?

13 August 2021
Abstract Expressionist Hockey?

The Hockey Museum (THM) has acquired four framed pieces of artificial Poligras turf from hockey pitch manufacturers Polytan. Each originates from a different Olympic Games: Sydney 2000 Beijing 2008 London 2012 Rio 2016 Can you work out which is which? Answers are at the bottom of this article. They look like...

GB Tokyo Olympic Hockey Research

30 July 2021
GB Tokyo Olympic Hockey Research

This July we have thrown the collective weight of our wonderful volunteer team at an Olympic research project in support of Great Britain Hockey. Across 35 days, 22 volunteers and staff researched and collated historical match statistics, photographs and anecdotal information. This related to each opponent nation that GB’s men’s...

Trustee Opportunities at The Hockey Museum

22 July 2021
Trustee Opportunities at The Hockey Museum

                   Position: Charity TrusteeOrganisation: The Hockey MuseumLocation: UK, Surrey, WokingClosing date: 27 August 2021Job Type: Voluntary   Are you an experienced professional looking for an opportunity to actively contribute to the development of a young, vibrant and rapidly expanding museum? The Hockey...

GB Squads Receive Honours Caps And Their Unique Player Numbers

09 July 2021
GB Squads Receive Honours Caps And Their Unique Player Numbers

It is a story that has been years in the making and started when The Hockey Museum began looking at how to collate accurate statistics for the sport. High up on the list was creating a definitive record of Great Britain international matches that would allow physical honours caps to...

Bridget Cannell: One Of Great Britain's First Women's Players Honoured

21 May 2021
Bridget Cannell: One Of Great Britain's First Women's Players Honoured

  Bridget Cannell's daughter, Tracy French, and son, Mike Cannell, received their mother's honours cap from former Great Britain internationals Jan Burrows (former England captain, second left) and Mary Eckersall (former England & GB captain, far right).   The Great Britain (GB) caps initiative – an ongoing project to recognize...

THM Reflected In The Mirror

20 May 2021
THM Reflected In The Mirror

  The Hockey Museum (THM) enjoys a close and fruitful working relationship with Sporting Heritage, the subject-specialist network that supports the collection, preservation, access to and research of sporting collections in the UK. Arising from this, THM was recently offered the opportunity to feature in a national newspaper editorial promoting...

GB Honours Caps Awarded To Former Players

20 May 2021
GB Honours Caps Awarded To Former Players

The culmination of The Hockey Museum’s (THM) project to create definitive playing records for Great Britain (GB) international hockey players matches will be the presentation of honours caps to every player with whom we can make contact. We can now state with confidence that 578 men and women have represented...

Re-Opening With New Exhibits

06 May 2021
Re-Opening With New Exhibits

In very exciting news, The Hockey Museum (THM) is re-opening this month! We will be welcoming back our volunteers, socially distanced and safely, from the week commencing 17 May 2021 and returning to our regular public opening hours from the week of 21 June 2021 in line with the current...

Commemorating ANZAC Day 2021

22 April 2021
Commemorating ANZAC Day 2021

In recent years, The Hockey Museum’s Hockey’s Military Stories (HMS) research project has become one of our more extensive activities. It came about because of feats of valour shown by hockey people, yet it goes much further than just wartime exploits and it also extends beyond Britain to include the...

Festival of Britain 1951: An Appeal

11 March 2021
Festival of Britain 1951: An Appeal

This year is the 70th anniversary of the Festival of Britain in 1951. This was an enormous, nationwide celebration of all things British. Yes, very jingoistic but it was only six years after the end of WW2, times were hard and spirits needed lifting. Events across the whole social spectrum...

Reliving The Wembley Magic: 70th Anniversary Special

01 March 2021

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.   3 March 2021 marks the 70th anniversary of the first England women’s hockey international at Wembley Stadium on 3...

THM Welcomes New Trustees

16 February 2021
THM Welcomes New Trustees

The Board of Trustees is delighted to announce that three new Trustees were appointed on 12th February 2021, to help further the work of The Hockey Museum (THM).                    Sophie-May Johnson    Paul Harvey    Tochi Panesar   Sophie-May Johnson Sophie is currently...

Dr Katie Dodd MBE

08 January 2021
Dr Katie Dodd MBE

The Hockey Museum (THM) is very proud to announce that its recent past Chair, Katie Dodd, has been awarded an MBE for services to hockey in the New Year’s Honours List.     Katie Dodd in action for England against Wales at Wembley in 1981. Katie has been involved in hockey...


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