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One of the longest-established touring teams still playing are the Horseshoes Hockey Club, founded in 1970 as a team for current and former pupils of Oakham School that went to the Blackpool Festival each Easter.

The Hockey Museum (THM) volunteer Steve LeMottee took over as the organiser in 1974, and during his 27-year ‘term of office’ the membership was opened up and the fixture list was expanded to include other festivals in England and some overseas tours, the most ambitious being to Vancouver and San Francisco in 1981.

With the exception of the two ‘Covid years’, the recent Bank Holiday was Steve’s 50th consecutive Easter with the Horseshoes, and although his playing involvement is limited to walking hockey these days he had planned to make an occasional guest appearance on the grass pitches at the Skegness Festival – sadly one of only two such gatherings of the hockey family that is still running.

However, even Steve’s modest ambitions were frustrated when he was diagnosed with Myeloma (cancer of the bone marrow) in early March. But not to be deterred, he still went to Skegness and, over the course of the two-day festival, walked 50 times around a pitch to raise money for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Myeloma UK.

Accompanied by teammates, friends and family – and by the entire Horseshoes HC men’s and mixed squads for the final two laps – Steve raised £800 to be shared between the two good causes. Thanks to Festival organisers Ben Read and Stuart Cunnington, a further £200 – the proceeds of the Saturday evening social – was raised for Myeloma UK.

Steve is currently undergoing a course of chemotherapy before a spell in hospital and a recuperation period, but he fully intends to return to Skegness next year for his 51st Easter with the Horseshoes.

 

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THM volunteer Steve LeMottee (right in the bottom photograph) undertook a sponsored walk during the Skegness Easter Hockey Festival this year.

Images courtesy of Anne Tate Photography.

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