Ladykiller Day 2013

On July 12th and 13th 2013,  Ladykillers Hockey Club helped Reading Hockey Club to celebrate the 10th anniversary of winning the European Cup and the day brought together many Ladykillers for their annual celebration. The Reading side featured several Ladykillers, Ashdown, Wyatt, Hoskin and Mason to name but a few and the Ladykillers side featured some established players such as Collison and Faulkner, with some Barcelona regulars such as Blockley and Marsh.

The weekend started with a great round of golf on the Friday afternoon, brilliantly organised by Mr Mike Webb, whilst the standard of golf was mixed, the sun shone, the champagne was cold and the stories epic, the passage of time only serves to highlight how good both the Ladykillers and Reading were. In the words of ex-international Chris Mayer ‘never let the truth get in the way of a good story’. More current internationals, Jonty Clarke and Richard Mantell also played golf and will be welcome additions into the LK ranks in future.

The weather on the Saturday was blistering, the pace of the hockey wasn’t! But it was everything that the LKs and Reading stand for. Families were welcomed, old acquaintances renewed. The Grimmers graced the sidelines and their support was invaluable. Unfortunately the Martins (senior) were unable to get back from Ireland, Janine (playing the responsible daughter –I know, unbelievable) then twisted her ankle whilst going to check on her parents house. Rob Thomson also turned an ankle playing tennis in the morning and so the true LK umbers were reduced. But this did not diminish the fun and frolics.

The game had to be broken into quarters as the temperature rose, although this did give opportunity to have a cold beverage (or two), David Faulkner tried admirably to coach the LKs into a semblance of a pattern, but with High Wilcock and Chris Cookman coming from an area of rules that Blockley and Marsh didn’t understand the chances of success were limited. But in an end to end thriller, the final 5-5 scoreline was perfect.. Reading replicated the 2003 success by winning on penalities, but the day belonged to both sides and the players and their families.

Thanks have to go to Reading HC for the use of the pitch, all the players from Ladykillers and Reading, Rodd and Andy Todd get credit for the best travelling – Hong Kong and New York respectively. The late call ups to cover injuries and drop outs and to Dave Howell for his umpiring and patience as the rules had to be explained to those who had never played the self-pass!

The dinner simply echoed the fun of the day. A great spread from the chef at the club was supplemented with wine and wise(ish) words. The season was not right for daffodils and the dinner did not include sausage, but those LKs who stayed shared in the stories of the day, of previous years and of moments remembered from tours gone by. Two hour champagne receptions in Folkestone,  Hoskin scoring with his first touch in Hamburg whilst unable to see and Blockley educating some of the world’s best players in the nuances of ‘touch the cup’ in Barcelona.

Whilst the timing of the weekend meant that many could not attend, school holidays being the greatest barrier, the whole day was held in a manner that Freddie T would have been proud of. Hopefully next year we can get the children and vets involved once again and expand the day back to its past glory.

Thank you for all involved for their help and advice.

Simon Mason