Bolton Hockey Club
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Bolton Hockey Club is a Men’s and Ladies Field Hockey Club Based in Greater Manchester, England. It has over 180 members of which approximately 140 are playing members. This includes players from the 5 Men's Teams, 4 Ladies Teams, 6 Junior Teams ranging from U11 to U18 boys and Girl’s, 1 mix team, a Veterans Team and also some touring sides made up from various members from any team as required.
Bolton Hockey Club was the 2nd Club in Greater Manchester to be awarded the Clubs1st and Clubmark Awards.
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Although men's hockey was played at Bolton Cricket Club before World War II, it had no direct link with the present Bolton Hockey Club. After playing a number of mixed games in 1964/5 members of a local tennis club, Bank Top Tennis Club, which included a former Bury Hockey Club player decided to form a men's team. They played friendly matches on park pitches before obtaining a base at Bolton CC for the 1965/6 season.
During the next few years the club attracted a few more former Bury players, together with students, converts from soccer and newcomers to the town. As a new club with membership of the Lancashire Hockey Association restricted to a Colts Club status, it was difficult to obtain fixtures with the bigger and established clubs in the region. However, in spite of this difficulty the standard of hockey improved and the Club was able to run two teams.
In 1970 the officials of Bolton Cricket Club, with some justification, did not consider that the Hockey section was pulling its weight and a meeting was held with the Club Chairman, in an attempt to establish a better relationship. This led to a greater participation in the Cricket Club’s activities by a minority of the hockey members. However, this new found optimism, about the future at Bolton CC, was not shared by four members of the 1st team, who left to join Wigan, before the start of the 1970/1 season.
Less than two years later, in July or August 1972, the hockey section was informed by the secretary of Bolton CC, that at the last monthly General Committee Meeting the members present had voted for hockey to cease being played at the Club. Significantly, the hockey section had no representative at the meeting. If all those members, who subsequently offered the hockey section their commiserations, had voted in its favour, the section would not have been ‘thrown out’. The cricket section had much influence and was never really enthusiastic about the ground being used for hockey, especially as the hockey section’s presence was of little or no financial benefit to the Club as a whole. The decision was rather short-sighted, for the Committee had obviously not considered the potential of our section, which at the time had many young members.
The club then moved to join up with Bury Hockey Club, which was having difficulty in obtaining sufficient members for its fourth team. As twenty members decided to make this move, it meant that Bury HC would not only have adequate players for their fourth team but would also be able to run a fifth XI and would be able to integrate many of Bolton's fixtures with their own. During the first year at Bury the club ran two parallel third teams, 3 & 3A, the latter being made up from the Bolton contingent.
After a few years a number of members, who had previously played at Bolton, felt that there was a need for men's hockey to be played in Bolton again. Hockey was still being played at Bolton School and a large number of the Bury players lived in the Bolton area. The major problem at the time was that of finding a ground of suitable size. With the exception of Eagley Cricket Club, where ladies hockey was played on land adjacent to the cricket area, the outfield at Bolton Cricket Club was still the most suitable to accommodate a near to full size hockey pitch. Since Bolton CC were still experiencing financial problems, Harold Smith was informed by one of the Club's officials, at the end of 1984, that it would be an opportune time to contact the officials of the Club. In February 1985, Harold wrote to Bolton Cricket Club to enquire whether they would be prepared to accommodate men's hockey again. The Club then suggested that we should arrange a meeting with their Management Committee.
Whilst Harold's approach to Bolton CC was not popular with several of the Bury members, it transpired that Bury Sports Club was considering the sale of their second cricket area, on which the 3 rd team hockey pitch was sited. With this in mind and the fact that the club would effectively bring two teams to Bolton, the Bury Hockey Club committee decided that they would consider moving en bloc to Bolton. Representatives from their committee were then present at the meeting with Bolton CC's management committee and subsequently voted for the move to Bolton.
One of Bolton Hockey Club's former members, Andy Bull, was on the England national squad for 2009/2010 and Great Britain Team for the Men’s Four Nations Tournament. The team currently has a Junior England International playing for the club.[who?]
Bolton Hockey Club enters teams in various leagues over the season which include the following:
- North Hockey Men’s League
- Kukri North West Hockey League (Men)
- North Women's Hockey League
- Greater Manchester Hockey Association (Women)
- Bolton Sports Federation Hockey League (Women)
Bolton also enters teams in the following summer leagues
- Bolton Hockey Summer League: Women
- Greater Manchester Summer League: Men's, Women, Mixed
- MHCC Summer League: Men, Women, Mixed
|Ladies 1st XI||Division 1||North Women's Hockey League|
|Ladies 2nd XI||Division 1||Greater Manchester Hockey Association (Women's)|
|Ladies 3rd XI||Division 3||Greater Manchester Hockey Association (Women's)|
|Ladies 4th XI||Section 'B'||Bolton Sports Federation Hockey League|
|Men's 1st XI||Division 2||North Hockey Men’s League|
|Men's 2nd XI||Division 4||Kukri North West Hockey League|
|Men's 3rd XI||Division 4||Kukri North West Hockey League|
|Season||Ladies 1st XI||Men's 1st XI|
|2009–10||4th, Division 1 North Women's Hockey League||10th, Division 1 North Hockey Men’s League|
|2008–09||11th, Premier Division North Women's Hockey League||11th, Division 1 North Hockey Men’s League|
|2007–08||8th, Premier Division North Women's Hockey League||8th, Division 1 North Hockey Men’s League|
|2006–07||1st, Division 1 North Women's Hockey League||1st, Division 2 North Hockey Men’s League|
|2005–06||4th, Division 1 North Women's Hockey League||2nd, Division 2 North Hockey Men’s League|
|2004–05||(1st, Feeder League 1 North Women's Hockey League||3rd, Division 2 North Hockey Men’s League|