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GB Munich 1972 reunion low res
 
 The 1972 Great Britain men's squad during their reunion earlier this month.

Back row: Peter Ewles, John French, Bernie Cotton, Keith Sinclair, Peter Mills, Paul Svehlik, Peter Marsh, Rui Saldanha.
Front row: Graham Evans, Terry Gregg, Mike Crowe, Tony Ekins, Mike Corby, Chris Langhorne, Richard Oliver.

 

By Keith Sinclair

The 1972 Great Britain (GB) hockey squad reunion has been in the planning phase for many months and received great support from the group of 18 who had such a memorable experience in Munich 50 years ago.

Sadly, we have lost our three-man management team of Bill Vans Agnew (Manager), Bob Mason (Assistant Manager) and Stan Wigmore (Trainer) to the passage of time, but to my knowledge all 18 members of our squad are still standing. The one uncertainty surrounds Sheikh Joe Ahmad who I have been unable to find, although there was some rumour that he may be in the Middle East – I hope that he is still alive and kicking. Austin Savage living in North Wales and Dennis Hay recovering from a stroke in Edinburgh sadly could not attend.

The Royal Thames Yacht Club (RTYC) in Knightsbridge was my chosen venue for our much-anticipated lunch. Their Mountbatten Room overlooking Hyde Park is a superb venue and we were able to get all anticipated 28 together on one long table which was ideal. There were 15 of the 18-strong squad present, together with 11 partners (reduced to 10 by a late Covid withdrawal) and two special guests: John Willmott, once of Southgate and Chair of The Hockey Museum, and Roger Dakin once again giving freely of his time to entertain us with amusing hockey stories.

John Willmott was on hand to present each of the 1972 squad with their GB honours caps, assisted by captain Tony Ekins. The GB cap presentation started proceedings and I know how delighted the recipients were to receive such a great memento of their times playing first-class hockey all those years ago. Top marks to The Hockey Museum for producing such excellent quality caps and for organising their presentation.

Michele (Mrs Sinclair) had spent much time preparing the table for us all with Union Flags, Olympic signs and excellent place cards with menu and squad photographs. The menu met the general approval of all and with a little celebratory welcome fizz and glass of wine or two (and some water of course), together with the first-class support of the RTYC staff, a superb lunch was enjoyed. Speeches by Tony Ekins, with support from Mike Crowe and Mike Corby and a moving few words from Terry Gregg were much appreciated. The formal proceedings were rounded off with Roger Dakin’s raconteur skills and reminder of his notable indoor career and in particular his memories of playing against the wonderful German indoor team of that era! The memories continued informally for a long time.

Members of the group had brought some of their saved articles and cuttings from 1972 and of course highlighted the disastrous Black September atrocities on the Israeli team accommodation which sadly these Olympic Games will always be remembered for. Maybe these artefacts will find their way to the museum at some point.

It was probably after 16:00 before the last made their way home to different parts of the country having experienced a highly memorable day.

 

Tracing Sheikh Joe Ahmad

Despite our very significant efforts we have been unable to make contact with Joe Ahmad, GB (men's) player number 165.

In 1972 he was in the Royal Air Force (RAF). We know that when he left the RAF he moved to the Middle East as a hockey coach – there the trail has gone completely cold. Is there anyone out there who has any information on how we might contact Joe and present him with his GB cap?

Please use contact The Hockey Museum through the website page: Contact Us | The Hockey Museum.

 

Sheikh Joe Ahmad GB cap

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