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Gordon Hall 1928 to 2024.

Gordon Hall 1928 to 2024.

Mark Beavis7 Feb - 19:34
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Former SHC 1st team captain and fixtures' secretary .

Gordon Hall
Born 1928

Gordon started his hockey at Repton School and played for their 1st XI in 1945 & 46.
1946 – 48. Then with The Royal Engineers whilst doing National Service he played in their Aldershot team and later in a truly great side at the Royal Engineers OCTU at Newark.

From 1948 - 65 he played for Sheffield men’s 1st Team. In 1953 he was Vice Captain and Captain from 1954 to 57. During that time he took the 1st Team to Scotland to play Stepps & Thistles in 1954 recording two wins and in 1956 he took them to London to play Tulse Hill & Scorpions, again two wins!

Left: Gordon Hall lines up with the SHC 1st Team in 1952 (front row, third from the left)

After 1965, until 1975 he played where selected and enjoyed it!

He was also Match Secretary from 1953 to 58 and from 1958 - 68 was Fixture Secretary. Sheffield only had two Saturday sides when he was match secretary and he would send postcards each week to those selected, giving details of the arrangements. (It seemed like every Saturday about 11.00am Mrs Manterfield would ring up on behalf of her husband to say he could not play for the second team as he was “running a slight chill”!)

Left: Gordon (second from the left) talking to members of the Sheffield 6-a-side team. A tournament held annually at Abbeydale.

He started Six-a-Side competitions in 1954 and in 1958 organised the Clubs 60th Anniversary with Peter Jackson, the SHC secretary, proving a very good organiser. The club caterers said the maximum numbers that could be accommodated should be limited to 98, but by deft plotting of places by Peter, eventually 126 sat down. All the top HA VIP’s and the President came to a superb evening. This was the first time a certain Charles Buck appeared on the scene.

The ‘Clodhoppers’ was a Yorkshire based Sunday/Festival side. It was started by Tony Baylis and had changing rooms at the Red Lion at Wath-on-Dearne, (next to Tony’s father’s Brewery)

Gordon was invited to play for them at Scarborough and then going with them to Weston Super Mare from 1949 to 1968. From 1954 - 68 he was ‘Major-Domo’ of the Clodhoppers.
During the period 1953 – 62 he played occasionally for Yorkshire, being captain twice. Gordon became a Yorkshire Selector from 1968 to 72 and from 1969 he was Chairman.
He was appointed a Vice-President of Yorkshire in 1968 and became Yorkshire President from 1977 to 80.

He was very much involved in helping organise an England trial at Abbeydale in 1971 together with Ken Stoneman, Mike Elliott and others. He was made a Vice-President of Sheffield HC in 1975. He was finally ‘put out to stud’ in 1980 although from 1977 - 97 he was ‘Major-Domo’ for Styx Hockey Club

He said he was very lucky in his time as Captain of Sheffield to have so many great players and a wonderful team spirit. For example the teams against Scotland and London were;-

1954 Scotland
Basil Mortimer, Gordon Mead, Tony Davis, George Hempseed, John Turner, Tom Ward, Jimmy Dexter, Basil Heppenstall, Douglas Heddle, Gordon Hall, John Tyzack. Umpire: Charles Buck. Travelling supporter:-- Harry Gibbs.

1956 London
John Nichols, George Hempseed, Tony Davis, Geoff Buckland, Tony Woodard, John Turner, Tom Ward, John Watson, Denis Banton, Douglas Heddle, Gordon Hall, John Tyzack. Umpire: Charles Buck.

For those not familiar with these names in particular;-
Harry Gibbs was secretary of SHC from 1923 -1958, President 1955/56 and also a Yorkshire Selector. Basil Heppenstall was Sheffield Captain 1949 - 1952, and also a Yorkshire selector and ‘Major-Domo’ of Clodhoppers 1949 - 1954.

Gordon related the story of his visit to Alderley Edge HC’s 75th Anniversary ‘bash’.
Being Alderley, dress was Dinner Jackets. His carload was Clive Stephenson, Tony Woodard & John Turner. Sheffield played that Saturday at Derby away, with Clive umpiring and the rest of us playing and went from there to Alderley Edge. After the game they changed into our DJs, cut tea, and drove off into the night and the Pennines.

At 6. o'clock they found a country pub out in the wilds of the Peak, small, cosy, one room, fire blazing and a lady behind the bar to greet them and accept their call for four pints of Hewitts best ale. She pulled these with expertise, but they noticed a frown of concern on her face. They handed over eight shillings (60p) (2/- a pint!) and she then disappeared into the adjacent room, and she was heard to say ' have you ordered a band? 'No' came the response ' well there's one here'.

John Turner, who always called Gordon ‘Dad’, was brilliant at situations like this and when the young lady returned to inspect us he said 'I'll go and get the drums in a minute Dad', then turning to the young lady he said ' where's the piano and what time do you want us to start?'. After another pint the landlord (her husband) had joined us, and they all left in good fettle. Great day, great dinner, no motorways and that was when they first met Ken Stoneman, who was later to Join Sheffield HC.

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