MORE THAN 450 people turned up to Bromsgrove Cricket, Hockey and Tennis Club last Friday (May 6) for the official opening of the new astroturf pitch.
It was part of the two-day Fab Friday and Super Saturday weekend at the club where a variety of activities took part.
On Friday afternoon, Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid was given a preview tour of the pitch which was made possible thanks to the Astro-4-All campaign.
There were a number of presentations made on the evening to various people who had been involved with the successful project.
Life membership was awarded to Ken Buckley, Phil Duffy and Lorraine Aspland for their contributions to the club and to Astro-4-All.
Mike Stoddard from England Hockey presented Bromsgrove Hockey Club with a signed England shirt and the pitch was officially unveiled by Lorraine Aspland, who speareheaded the Astro-4-All campaign and Marting Jones, who has won 118 international hockey caps for GB and England.
Andy Potter, the chairman of Bromsgrove Hockey Club, thanked everyone who came to join in with the celebration.
“We have been nomadic for more than 20 years, playing our matches in Droitwich, Redditch and South Birmingham.
“It has taken a lot of time and hard work for us to achieve this and it is about bringing hockey home to Bromsgrove Hockey Club.”
Lorraine said: “I know what this historic occasion means to me – it’s about bringing hockey home to Bromsgrove and to bring on the next generation of hockey players.
“I want people to have the same chance as me – to be able to watch hockey here.”
She went on to read comments from members about what the momentous occasion meant to them.
The representative from England Hockey, Mike Stoddard, paid tribute to everyone involved in the successful campaign, wished all of Bromsgrove’s teams well and said the new pitch would help hockey to improve and grow at the club.
David Hawkins, the chairman of trustees at Bromsgrove Cricket, Hockey and Tennis Club, said while the cricket and tennis clubs had developed, the hockey team had not and was the ‘poor relation’.
“We are so delighted that is no longer the case – Bromsgrove now truly has a cricket, hockey and tennis club.”
After the presentations and speeches, there was also a prestigious exhibition match, between Bromsgrove Hockey Club and an Allstars team, which provided an excellent display of hockey. The final score was 8-3 to the Allstars.
Dance group Notorious put on some excellent entertainment and lively performances in the intervals and the free hog roast and fizz was welcomed by those who had gone along to toast the momentous occasion.
After that, there was a night of entertainment featuring The Miss Fortunes and the celebrations were continued the next day when the club was honoured with a visit from the current Women’s GB and England international captain Kate Richardson-Walsh.
She came to watch her mum Barbara Walsh and other team mates from Didsbury, Manchester, play a testimonial friendly game against a mixed Bromsgrove team of mainly second XI & third XI veteran players, organised by BHC’s Bernie Mackie who played with them 20+ years ago.