A Cleethorpes hockey enthusiast took the credit for opening up the sport to the nation. Phil Appleyard, who died in 1997 aged 74, helped expose hockey to more than six million television viewers. Appleyard, who was known for referring to himself as a ‘Grimsby fish merchant’, even though his work dealt with governments and international agencies, chaired the organisation of the closing stages of the hockey World Cup in Willesden, London, in October 1986.
The former Grimsby Hockey Club goalkeeper and captain was also president of the Hockey Association at that time. And when the World Cup event he helped to organise attracted more spectators than ever before, the BBC opted at short notice to substitute coverage of the hockey for its planned schedule.
Appleyard went on to work for the Hockey Association to promote the sport nationally. His vision was the creation of a national hub, which was realised with the opening of The Hockey Stadium in Milton Keynes in 1995. This led to the development of the Hockey System we see nationally today in England.
Working with the local community is a key in building relationships and maintaining support, informing an over-riding vision:
Further to this outline our approach would be focused on five main platforms:
The club has been built on reputation and network, achieved through the hard work of a few long standing individuals and the many players and volunteers involved with the club, in promoting and developing competitive sport in North East Lincolnshire. They have continuously contributed to the success and longevity of the hockey club. It is from these successes which this plan is encouraged to build upon.
Developing hockey in our area is important. It gives those, of all ages, an opportunity to develop a social and active lifestyle to: