UK PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARDS

International Captains win Awards
Thursday, January 24th, 2013

Barry Middleton, the 29-year-old Great Britain, and England captain currently playing his club hockey with HGC in the Netherlands and Kate Walsh, the 32 year old Great Britain, England and Reading defender were named UK Player of the Year for 2012 following the annual poll conducted amongst British members of the Hockey Writers’ Club.  Both are currently in the England training squads and are no strangers to honours.

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Kate Walsh

Kate Walsh, after suffering a horrendous injury in the closing minutes of GB’s Olympic game against Japan when she suffered a broken jaw, returned to captain her team in their important game against China six days later.  Captain courageous went on to lead her team to the Olympic Bronze medal to conclude her international season.  Shortly after the Olympics, she was back as assistant coach playing for her club side Reading. 

 Kate who began her international career in May 1999 against Russia in Dublin and has now amassed 292 combined Great Britain and England international caps (184 England 108 Great Britain) including the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and London 2012.  She has won the HWC’s UK Player of the Year twice previously in 2003 and 2007.   Hearing of the present award her international and club colleague and last year’s winner Alex Danson said: “Kate has been an incredible ambassador for our sport and been fantastic all year so is thoroughly deserving of her accolade.” 

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Kate was unable to be present. Her award was accepted by Jennie Byass of EHB from Leandro Negre (left) President of FIH and Richard Leman President of GB Hockey.



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Barry Middleton

The much-travelled Barry Middleton who has been another extraordinary ambassador for hockey is winning the UK Award for the fourth time (2006, 2007 & 2010).  Starting his hockey in Doncaster, he then moved to Premier League Cannock, where his hard graft, inspirational leadership and high class was established leading to a move to the Netherlands and then on to Germany playing for An der Alster, one of their leading clubs. Olympic year saw him back in the UK playing for East Grinstead before going back to Dutch Club HGC who did so much to cement his international reputation.  

Barry, who started his England career in 2003 against Belgium, has so far played 270 internationals (England 165 & Great Britain 105) scoring 79 goals.  He has no intention at present of retiring from the international scene before Rio where he hopes to add to his Athens, Beijing and London Olympic appearances.   Speaking to England Hockey TV ahead of the Champions Trophy in Melbourne Barry said: “I’m looking to go to Rio. I want to play for four more years. Hockey’s my life; it’s what I’ve always done. I feel fit enough to carry on. As soon as I stop enjoying hockey or I feel I’m not helping the team then that’s when I’ll stop.”

 

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Barry Middleton receives his award from Leandro Negre (left) and Richard Leman.

 Barry was present to receive the traditional Rose Bowl and cheque on Tuesday 22nd January at the presentational Lunch at the Royal Thames Yacht Club, in Knightsbridge, London from World Hockey President Leandro Negre, who flew in from Barcelona for the occasion. Kate was unable to be there, she was away on player business with the BOA, and her award was received on her behalf by Jennie Byass.

 Ashley Jackson (East Grinstead) and Alex Danson (Reading) were runners up with Glenn Kirkham (East Grinstead) and Crista Cullen (Leicester) in third place.

 

 PREVIOUS WINNERS OF THE HWC UK PLAYER OF THE YEAR

1983   Margaret Gleghorne                Paul Barber

1984   Karen Brown                          Richard Leman

1985   Linda Carr                              Sean Kerly MBE

1986   Moira McLeod                         Ian Taylor

1987   Violet McBride                        Imran Sherwani

1988   Barbara Hambly OBE              Jon Potter

1989   Vickey Dixon                          David Faulkner

1990   Maggie Souyave                     Andy Halliday

1991   Joanne Thompson                   Jason Laslett

1992   Jane Sixsmith MBE                 Rob Hill

1993   Sandie Lister                           Julian Halls

1994   Karen Brown                            Simon Mason

1995   Tammy Miller                           Ian Jennings MBE

1996   Kathryn Johnson                      Bobby Crutchley

1997   Karen Brown                            Jon Wyatt

1998   Carolyn Reid                            David Hacker

1999   Christina CullenMBE                 Chris Ashcroft

2000   Jane Sixsmith MBE                  Mark Pearn

2001   Jane Smith                               Danny Hall

2002   Leisa King                                Robert Todd

2003   Kate Walsh                               Simon Mason

2004   Christina Cullen MBE                 Barry Middleton

2005   Crista Cullen                              Jonathan Ebsworth

2006   Crista Cullen                              James Tindall

2007   Kate Walsh                                Barry Middleton

2008   Beth Storry                                Ali McGregor

2009   Helen Richardson                       Ashley Jackson

2010   Helen Richardson                       Barry Middleton

2011   Alex Danson                              Mark Pearn

2012   Kate Walsh                               Barry Middleton

 

For further information, please contact:

Bill Colwill  Tel. 01494 872675  M. 07710 297 354   E.  BColwill@aol.com

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