Scottish Veterans LX Hockey Club 2016

The highlight of 2016 was a fine sixth place for Scotland Grand Masters (Over 60) in the World Cup in Newcastle, New South Wales, held in May. A depleted Great Grand Masters (Over 65) team could not improve on their ninth place in the 2014 World Cup.

The international year had begun at Glasgow Green in March, when Scotland Senior Grand Masters (Over 70) produced their best ever result against England, drawing 0-0 in a closely fought match which they could have won if they had been awarded a stonewall penalty. After the World Cup, in which Scotland had been unable to field an Over 70 team, it was on to Southgate in July for the Home Internationals. Scotland Grand Masters put in a strong performance against England but not strong enough to edge out the hosts, who comfortably held on to the trophy. Crushing defeats of Wales and Ireland gave Scotland a secure second place. A disappointing performance from Scotland Great Grand Masters saw them finish fourth, but the Senior Grand Masters emulated their younger counterparts by finishing second, once again behind England.

September saw Scotland Grand Masters run away with the Celtic Cup in Lille, France, winning all their matches without conceding a goal. Scotland Great Grand Masters lost their grip on the trophy but finished in second place with wins over France and Ireland. There was no Senior Grand Masters competition but a Scottish Over 70 team with two English guest players beat their Welsh counterparts in a double header in Wrexham in September to round off the international season.

Scottish Thistles began the year in Lille in March where they claimed third place in the annual Jacques Lévy tournament. Thistles Over 70 suffered a heavy defeat from a much younger Cumbria select at Glasgow Green in April. Lack of cutting edge left Scottish Thistles in eighth place in the Tilburg International Tournament in the Netherlands in June. Later the same month, Scottish Thistles lost heavily to Pistons in a pre-tournament friendly ahead of the Home Internationals. The season finished in July with a trip to Swansea for the Dragons Festival, where Thistles came back with only a point.

Gerry Ralph

Gerry Ralph, who joined us last year and had hoped to be one of our umpires, passed away on 17 February 2016. Gerry was a former President of the Scottish Hockey Union, Chairman of the EHF Development and Development Projects Committees and a driving force behind the rise of Kelburne Hockey Club.
obituary on Scottish Hockey website

Guy Leighton and Jess Toner

Guy Leighton

Guy Leighton, one of our longest serving members, passed away suddenly on 26 February 2016 in hospital in Worcester. Guy, pictured here with the 2011 Scotland Grand Masters squad in the European Cup in Neuss, Germany, was an outstanding goalkeeper. Guy had been unable to play in recent times because of back problems but he and Margaret regularly turned up at events as supporters. He will be sadly missed.

At Guy's funeral in Solihull on Wednesday 23 March, Ernie di Rollo, David Margerison, Alan & Christine Bain and Peter & Linda Gordon were there to represent Scottish Veterans LX Hockey Club.

It was clear from remarks made that Scotland LX played an important part in Guy's sporting life and that Margaret was surprised and delighted that the Club was so well represented at the funeral. She intimated her appreciation at the distances members had travelled to pay their respects to Guy as well as the very kind sentiments expressed by the Club at this sad time.

Soon after the news broke about Guy, we heard of the sudden passing of Gerry Toner's wife, Jess, a long term supporter of our teams and another sad loss.

Over 70s Draw with England

Scotland Senior Grand Masters put on a creditable performance against their English counterparts in the friendly international at Glasgow Green on Wednesday 2 March 2016, earning a well deserved 0-0 draw.



Thistles third in Lille

Alistair Ogilvie scores against Alliance in Lille

Alistair Ogilvie scores from the floor v Alliance

Scottish Thistles ended up in third place in the 2016 Jacques Lévy Tournament in Lille on Sunday 13 March after a losing semi final against Supervétérans France A in which they went down 2-0. They went on to contest the 3rd/4th place final against the French B side and seemed to be coasting to victory after turning round at half time 3-0 in the lead. Two goals by the French left them hanging on at the end, finally claiming third place with a 3-2 win. In the pool matches on the Friday and Saturday, they had also ended up in third place in the round robin pool by virtue of two wins and a draw against two losses to the eventual finalists, England LX and Supervétérans France A.

George Black in the Papers Again

George Black  20 March 2016 Auchenhowie © John Linton 2016

Photo © John Linton 2016 (click for larger version)

Three years on from his last appearance in a newspaper article, George Black is once again in the news as his ninetieth birthday approaches. We are virtually certain that he is the oldest player in the UK and his story was in the Herald, Scottish Daily Mail, Scottish Daily Record and Scottish Sun on Wednesday 23 March 2016.

Rab Keddie

Rab Keddie

Another long standing member of the club passed away on 6 April - Rab Keddie, aged 79. Rab first played for Scotland Over 60 in Hannover in 2003 but had to give up playing several years ago because of breathing problems. That did not stop him being a regular at the AGM dinners. He will be sadly missed.

Over 70s go down to Cumbria

Scottish Thistles Over 70 lost 5-0 to a very useful Cumbria Select at Glasgow Green on Thursday 21 April 2016. report

World Cup - 6th for Scotland Grand Masters

WGMA World Cup 2016 Logo

Scotland sent two teams - Grand Masters (Over 60) and Great Grand Masters (Over 65) to the 2016 World Cup in Newcastle, New South Wales on 3-13 May 2016.

It was a very successful 2016 World Cup for Scotland Grand Masters, which showed real improvement under coach Murray Paton, earning a very creditable sixth place in the tournament. As well as improving their place in world hockey, they showed at times that they could compete with the best teams in the world, giving eventual gold medal winners Netherlands a real match in the quarter final which the Dutch admitted afterwards had been their hardest match in the tournament.

They were unfortunate to miss out on fifth place in their final match against South Africa, a game dominated by the Scots who just could not find the way past a resolute South African defence. Still, sixth place was an improvement of three places over their position in the 2014 World Cup and this result will strongly benefit Scotland in future events in terms of seeding.

Scotland's Great Grand Masters fielded a depleted team, the oldest in the competition, and were always up against it against younger opposition. Their best performance was a 1-1 draw against old rivals Wales but they could not improve on the ninth place earned in the 2014 World Cup.

tournament summary
Grand Masters fixtures & results
Great Grand Masters fixtures and results

Scotland Over 60 and Over 65 are proud to have been sponsored in the World Cup in 2016 by AMN Contracts, Explore Scotland, Frontline Consultancy, Opex, Solve-it Blocks and Top Drawer. sponsor page

World Cup Penalty Shoot Out Videos

Scotland Grand Masters had to go through a three way penalty shoot out competition with New Zealand and Wales to qualify for the 5-8 places. They did so convincingly, beating both their opponents 3-2. videos

Scottish Thistles 8th in Tilburg

International Superveterans Tournament Tilburg 2016

A Scottish Thistles side led by Colin Gallacher finished eighth in the International Superveterans Tournament in Tilburg, Netherlands on 17-19 June 2016. Though they conceded only five goals in their six matches, lack of a cutting edge cost them dear, and their best results were two goalless draws on Saturday 18 June, one against the very strong England LX Red side, winners of the tournament.

results and reports

Pistons too Strong for Thistles

In a pre-tournament match played at Southgate on Thursday 30 June, Scottish Thistles went down 8-0 to Pistons. The Thistles side, composed of a mixture of Scotland Over 65, Scotland Over 70 and unqualified members, were much older than their opponents and that, coupled with a reluctance to expend too much energy in advance of the Home Internationals on the following three days, made this a mismatch. That said, the Pistons keeper pulled off two wonder saves to deny Brian de Mattos in the second half, and the teams retired to the bar in good spirits.

Grand Masters & Senior Grand Masters Second in Home Internationals

In the 2016 Home International tournament at Southgate, London on 1-3 July 2016, Ireland joined the Over 65 tournament for the first time and there was an inaugural Over 70 competition involving England, Scotland and Wales.

Scotland Grand Masters (Over 60) put in an outstanding performance, giving tournament winners England a run for their money and seeing off both Ireland and Wales with comprehensive victories to finish in second place.

One remarkable feature of Scotland's final Grand Masters match against Wales was a pair of yellow cards issued to father and son: Scotland player Glenn Paton and his son, Scotland coach Murray Paton. The statisticians are scouring the record books to see if this has ever happened before.

Scotland Great Grand Masters (Over 65) will count the cost of lack of striking power which left them in fourth place in their competition.

Scotland Senior Grand Masters (Over 70) squeezed through into second place in the inaugural competition after a 2-2 draw with Wales left them depending on the score in the final match of the whole tournament between England and Wales. In a nail biting finish, England scored a fourth goal in the last seconds of that match to relegate Wales to third place on goals scored, Scotland having finished level with the Welsh on points, goal difference and the result of the match between the two sides.

tournament summary

Scottish Thistles in Swansea

Scottish Thistles once more took part in the annual Dragons Hockey Festival in Swansea. Though they came back with only a point, they acquitted themselves well against strong opposition. report by Tim Lorimer

Grand Masters Win Celtic Cup in France

Scotland Grand Masters defeated France 2-0 in the final match of the Celtic Cup held on 9-11 September at Lille Métropole Hockey Club to win the Grand Masters Celtic Cup with a 100% record and clean sheets in all three matches. Scotland Great Grand Masters had earlier defeated France 7-0 to set up the possibility that they could retain the Great Grand Masters Celtic Cup, but Wales kept their nerve, defeating Ireland and relegating Scotland to second place.

Colin Tucker on the attack against Ireland

Colin Tucker (GGM) attacks against Ireland

Both Scotland teams had won their opening matches on Friday 9 September. Scotland Great Grand Masters beat Ireland 1-0 in the afternoon, followed by a resounding 8-0 win over Wales by Scotland Grand Masters. In the second day of the tournament, Scotland Grand Masters continued their winning ways with a 2-0 win against Ireland, but the Great Grand Masters side suffered their first reverse, going down 2-0 to eventual winners Wales.

results and Scotland squads       match reports

Scottish Thistles "Over 70" Win in Wales

A slightly underage squad of 13 players including a couple of non-nationals in Tony Walker and Bob McCombe playing as Scottish Thistles Over 70s against a similar Welsh squad won the second leg of a double header at Wrexham, North Wales on Wednesday 21 September by 3-0.

Scottish Thistles Over 70 Wrexham September 2016

In the first match the previous evening, Scottish Thistles drew 0-0; they played a lot of good, controlled hockey but lacked the ability to put in telling passes to their forwards.

match reports

George Dunbar 1920-2016

It is with the greatest sadness that we have to record the passing of our oldest former member, George Dunbar, who passed away on 24 September 2016 at the age of 96. Our sympathies go to his sons Donald and Ian, both current members, and his wife Bunty.

George and Donald Dunbar

Scottish Internationals George and Donald Dunbar
2008 European Cup San Cugat Spain

George had the distinction of being awarded Scotland's only trophy in the 2008 World Cup in Hong Kong, when he was awarded the longevity trophy after playing for Scotland Great Grand Masters. He and his son Donald (underage Over 60) played for Scotland in both the 2008 European Cup and the 2008 World Cup. George, who was a Japanese prisoner of war during the Second World War, and was down a copper mine near Hiroshima when the atomic bomb fell, had the satisfaction of scoring a goal against Japan in the World Cup tournament.

Kieran McLernan with 2016 Gold Medal Australian Championships

Gold Medal for the President

Playing for Western Australia Country Over 75 in the 2016 Australian Championships in Adelaide, President Kieran McLernan won a gold medal.

Matt Aird 1942-2016

Matt Aird 2009

Sadly, we have lost yet another former member in Matt Aird, who passed away in December 2016 after a short illness.

Matt, who had not been in the best of health in recent years, last played for the Scotland Over 65 team which narrowly lost out to Germany for the bronze medal in the 2009 European Cup in Amstelveen, Netherlands.