W. Colwill OBE

15th October 1930 – 13th November 2016
Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

Bill Colwill OBE 1930 - 2016

It is with much sadness that we record the death of W (Bill) Colwill who passed away in the early hours of the 13th November 2016, in Wexham Hospital, Slough.

For funeral arrangements see here.

Bill was held in high regard in the hockey community both in the United Kingdom and across the hockey playing countries in all parts of the world. He built a network of friends wherever he went and these contacts enabled him to keep in touch with developments of the game and players whether in Australia, Argentina, India or Europe.

He was immensely keen on the development of young players, a shared goal with Derek Higgins, which resulted with the creation in 2004 of the Higgins Group Plc UK Youth Awards for under 16 & U18 boys and girls. It gave him much pleasure just a few months ago to see four previous winners appearing in the 2016 Great Britain gold-medal winning team at the Rio Olympics.

Bill’s love for hockey started with his school days and his highlight was playing in goal for Devon when the renowned England player Frank Reynolds was in the same team.

He later joined the Civil Service. This culminated in a career and a final posting to the Cabinet Office. During this period, he worked under Bernard Ingham, who was the press secretary to Margaret Thatcher.

Long hours and an everlasting workload brought an end to his playing days, but he soon qualified as an umpire. He became a much sought after southern counties official, who adjudicated London League fixtures.

At the same time, he was invited by the Independent to become their hockey correspondent, covering national league games, the domestic scene, and International tournaments. This was the beginning of his world-wide circle of friends and vast hockey knowledge.

He kept meticulous records which became an important source of information for all those who required accurate facts. Together with Chris Moore, Sidney Friskin and Pat Rowley, they formed the Hockey Writers’ Club. In addition, he served for many years as the treasurer of the Sports Journalists' Association.

He will be missed by all who knew him. His wife Jean died in 2010 but is survived by his son Peter, to whom we send our heartfelt sympathies.

See a further obituary on the Hockey Museum website.