World Cup call-up for Mansfield hockey veteran Denley

Peter Denley (front row, far right) in the England Over-70s' team at the European Senior Grand Masters Cup.
Peter Denley (front row, far right) in the England Over-70s' team at the European Senior Grand Masters Cup.

He might have been playing since 1974, and is now over 70 years old. But Peter Denley, president of Mansfield Hockey Club, is still going strong.

And as if to prove the point, he has just been selected to represent England’s Senior Grand Masters side at the Masters World Cup and also in home international matches later this year.

It’s a real feather in the cap not only for Denley but also for the Mansfield club, whose spokesman, Paul Reeves, declared: “What an incredible achievement!

“Peter has played for the club for 44 years and has captained all five of the men’s senior sides throughout his time here,” said Reeves. “He is proving that hockey is for everyone, and what an inclusive sport it is.”

The Senior Grand Masters team is specifically for players aged over 70, and Denley’s selection follows two gruelling trials, held in Birmingham. He was also part of the same England team that won the European Cup in Glasgow in 2017.

The Grand Masters World Cup is to be held in Barcelona, Spain in June. Sixteen countries are taking part, including the current world champions Australia, whom England beat last time out, Argentina, Germany and Japan. The tournament will feature the best veteran players across the globe.

Mansfield Hockey Club, who are based in Kirkby, welcome players of all ages. The senior sides train on Wednesday evenings, while a junior section, for youngsters aged from five upwards, trains on Sunday mornings.