Worthing Hockey Club marking 125th anniversary

Worthing Hockey Club is celebrating its 125th anniversary in the 2021-22 season, kicking off from July with a gala dinner.

Friday, 4th June 2021, 9:00 am
A Worthing Hockey Club team from the 1950s

Worthing Hockey Club is celebrating its 125th anniversary in the 2021-22 season, kicking off from July with a gala dinner.

WHC was one of the seven founder members of the Sussex Hockey Association in 1899.

The original home was in West Tarring, before putting down roots at the Manor Sports Ground in Broadwater from 1927 until 2019, when the hockey centre at The Angmering School was opened and became the club’s new base.

Worthing Hockey Club action in the 80s

As well as looking forward, this landmark year provides an opportunity to look back at the journey so far. The club has had a rich history over its 125 years, and despite breaks for the two world wars and recent breaks for the coronavirus pandemic, the membership continues to grow with six men’s, two ladies’ and junior and development teams.

Notable dates in the club’s history include the first competitive match in 1897 against Storrington, the start of the Worthing Easter Festival in 1932, which ran for almost 70 years regularly attracting over 50 teams both nationally and internationally, as well as on-going success in competitive leagues for both the men’s and ladies teams.

Former and current players have gained county, regional and international honours, while the club itself has won honours with both the men’s and ladies’ first XIs not forgetting second XI, U21, veteran and junior league and cup successes.

Up until 1989, hockey was played almost exclusively on grass, with the club boasting some of the best pitches in the county at the Manor Ground, shared with Worthing Cricket Club.

The move of the sport to artificial pitches from 1989 changed the make-up of the club, with home matches often being played at Worthing Leisure Centre and then at St Andrew’s School, where a new artificial pitch in 2005 became WHC’s home base, around the corner from The Manor.

After also using pitches in Durrington and Angmering, the club was able to build its own clubhouse in 2019 at The Angmering School, next to the home Astroturf pitch.

The 2021-22 season will be a 125th anniversary celebration season with a number of events planned including a gala dinner on July 31 and a Masters tournament from August 27 to 29 with 12 veterans teams from the UK and Ireland being hosted over the August bank holiday.

More events will be announced as the season unfolds and the story continues.

The club is highly respected in the hockey community and has a fine ethos of making hockey fun, friendly and inclusive.

WHC offers a splendidly social yet competitive atmosphere for adults and juniors enjoyed by a large membership.

More information can be found at worthinghockey.co.uk and you can follow the club on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: #WeAreWHC