2006 was a busy year, the last year in which World and European Championships were held in the same year. Scottish Hockey had tightened up the rules, giving permission for Scottish Veterans LX Hockey Club to organise and manage Scotland teams provided that trials were held and there was a proper selection procedure. To that end, the first event of the year was a pre-AGM trial match in Dundee.

The first international events was the European Championships in Italy in June, when Scotland fielded an Over 60 team and Scottish Thistles played in the Over 65 tournament. A Bronze Medal was the reward for winning two out of their four matches, the two losses being against runners up Germany and winners England. The same forces lined up three months later in Germany for the World Cup. Third place in their group left Scotland playing off for places 5-8 and an easy win against Egypt gave them a match against Netherlands for fifth place, but the Dutch gained revenge for their loss in the group by winning 2-1 to leave Scotland in sixth place.

Scottish Thistles played return matches against England LX, in April both Over 60 and Over 65 sides losing. They returned to Hellevoetsluis in November after a year's absence, this time drawing 0-0 with the Zestigplussers select, and the year finished with a challenge match against Auld Craws in Aberdeen.

AGM and Trial Match for European Championships DISC Dundee 26 February

The following members (excluding Alan Bryce who arrived on the Sunday morning) attended the club dinner on Saturday 25 February, the men taking part in the trial match at DISC the following morning before the AGM. The wives went on a private tour of Glamis Castle while their husbands played in the trial: a total of 27 players and 1 umpire. The very high attendance was due in no small part to the generosity of Norrie and Dorothy Springford who put up the whole party in the Apex City Quay Hotel and provided a splendid dinner.

Howard & Catherine Andrew, Alan & Pam Auld, George & Anne Black, Alan & Alison Bremner, David & Sue Cassell, Douglas & Carol Caren, Roy & Hazel Crichton, Ernie & Marjorie DiRollo, Ian & Catherine Downie, Keith & Ann Forster, Rab & Margo Keddie, Dave & Mary McIntosh, Kieran & Joan McLernan, Jim & Jean Mitchinson, Peter & Marjory Monaghan, Doug & Joan Morrice, Harry & Jean Phillips, Colin & Julie Skinner, Norrie & Dorothy Springford, Alan & Kath Strachan, Gerry & Jess Toner, Sandy & Jean Weir, Jim & Cath White, Alan Bryce (Sunday only), Tony Duguid, Ron Fraser, Freddie Lawson, Alistair Philip

Return Matches v England LX Over 60 and Over 65 Peffermill 9 April

In the return fixture following the 1-1 draws in both matches in Carlisle at the end of 2005, Scotland fared less well, losing both matches: 2-0 in the Over 60 match and 3-0 in the Over 65 game.

WGMA European Superveterans Championships Bra, Italy 9-11 June

Scotland gained its first honour at Over 60 level, finishing in bronze medal position in the round robin tournament involving England, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Scotland.

Scottish Thistles, playing in the satellite tournament, also finished in third place.

Scotland Squad: Auld, Andrew, Black, Bremner, Crichton, Downie, Duguid, Fraser, Keddie, Lawson, McLernan, Morrice, Monaghan, Philip (Capt.), Phillips, Strachan

Scottish Thistles: Black, Bryce, Caren, Cassell, DiRollo, Forster, Fraser, McIntosh, Margerison (guest), Mitchinson, Weir (Capt.), White

Umpires: Smith, Toner


Surprise 80th Birthday Match for George Black 5 August Stepps

To mark the occasion of George Black's 80th birthday, which had been two days earlier on 3 August, virtually the whole club turned up to play an intra-club at Millerston, Stepps. The result was a 4-3 win for Whites against Blues, who were supposed to be the better side. Lunch was laid on and, for those who were up to it, a chance to play in one of our two teams playing in the Stepps Sixes in the afternoon. For the record, both sides recorded one win and the match between the two teams ended 0-0. Then it was on to the Monaghans' house for wine, beer and food. All this was organised without George being aware of it until he actually arrived at the ground, brought there on a pretext by Peter Monaghan.

George wrote this note after the event:

To all my friends in the Scottish Hockey LX Club and their supporting wives (and fellow conspirators).

The occasion you created for me on Saturday at Millerston for the hockey, then on to a superb meal in the evening at Cumbernauld and capped by a presentation of a beautiful Ships Decanter on a plinth and the goods to fill it, plus the album of photo's of the days gone by from Herr Von Strachan was totally unexpected.

This as you know left me completely overwhelmed by your attendance, kindness and generosity, I shall never forget it.

Please accept my sincere thanks for the day.

Signed: Your Goalie George.

WGMA World Cup Leverkusen, Germany 8-15 September

Scotland at Leverkusen Opening Ceremony 2006

Scotland, with a bare eleven players, thought they were set for a place in the semi finals after a fine win over Netherlands in their first match, but underestimated a very skilful Malaysian team which included an ex Olympian who masterminded a 3-0 victory to leave Scotland in third place in the Over 60 group. A 9-0 win against Egypt saw them through to the 5-6 place final but Netherlands gained their revenge for their pool match defeat, winning 2-1 to leave Scotland in sixth place.

Scotland and Germany Over 60s Leverkusen 2006

Germany and Scotland Over 60s squads after their match

Pool Matches

Scotland 4 (Dunlop 3, Other 1) Netherlands 1
Germany 4 Scotland 0
Malaysia 3 Scotland 0
Scotland 9 (Dunlop 4, Downie, Others 4) Egypt 0

5-6 Place Final

Netherlands 2 Scotland 1 (Other)

Scotland Squad: Auld, Black, Bremner, Crichton, Downie, Dunlop, Forster, Keddie, Monaghan (Capt.), Phillips, Springford

Scotland Over 60s World Championships Leverkusen 2006

Scottish Thistles needed to recruit three guest players and competed in the Over 65 satellite competition, a win and a draw in their pool matches giving them second place and a berth in the semi finals. Two successive losses, against Australia Overlanders and Germany 2, meant a fourth place for Scottish Thistles. report

Scottish Thistles: Caren, Cassell, DiRollo, Fraser, McIntosh, Margerison, Morrice, Strachan, Weir (Capt.), White. Theo Schults, Joop Ris and Martin Vellinga from the Netherlands played as guests.

Umpires: Smith, Toner

Mussel Festival HC Voorne, Hellevoetsluis, Netherlands 18-19 November

Once more Scottish Thistles travelled to Hellevoetsluis in search of a good time, and once more a good time was had by all. The traditional Netherlands-Scotland "international' challenge match after the tournament ended in a scoreless draw.

Squad and Wives: Alan & Alison Bremner, David & Sue Cassell, Ernie & Marjory DiRollo, Ian & Catherine Downie, Keith & Ann Forster, Guy & Margaret Leighton, Jim & Jean Mitchinson, Howard Andrew, Stuart Dick, Rab Keddie, Dave McIntosh, Doug Morrice, Alistair Philip, Alan & Kath Strachan, Sandy Weir. Umpire: Ken Hunter.

Scottish Thistles v Auld Craws Aberdeen 10 December

Auld Craws, including six current club members and another four who were later to join, beat a Scottish Thistles team 3-1 at Chris Anderson Stadium, Aberdeen.

Auld Craws Squad: Alan Bremner*, Brian Cockburn, Ian Downie*, Tony Duguid*, Ron Fraser*, Sandy Keith, John Lauder, Peter Macari†, Kieran McLernan*, Bernie Morrison†, Murdoch Shirreffs†, Bob Sangster†, Alan Strachan* [*current member †future member]