Kulbir Singh Bhaura, British hockey player was born on this day in Jalandhar, Punjab in India in 1955. He came to England in the mid 1960s. Affiliated to the Hounslow Hockey Club in London He was a member of the gold winning Great Britain squad at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. The only match in which he did not compete at the that tournament was the one against his native India. Four years earlier, at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, he secured the bronze medal with his team. Bhaura was also a member of the Silver medal winning team in 1986 World cup in London and 1987 European Cup in Moscow. He played at international level for nine years for England and Great Britain, winning 84 caps for England and 61 for GB. A proud moment was when he was selected to represent World XI to play against Australia in 1987. After winning gold in 1988 he started working within the hockey industry, in marketing and developing equipment. He has visited hockey factories in India and Pakistan, developing his own range of hockey and cricket equipment under the brand name Pantheon. He was also involved in developing goalkeeping equipment and owned a ball manufacturing plant, “Chingford Balls”. Bhaura is a prominent member of the Indian Gymkhana club based in Osterley in W London and continues to play and coach hockey there to this day.
South African hockey player Fiona Butler was born in Johannesburg today in 1977. She played her club hockey at Wits University and the Pirates JBH and represented her country at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics – where the team finished 9th and 11th respectively – a great achievement for players who back home, are expected to work or study full time. she also was a member of the 2006 Commonwealth games side that were placed 7th. Wits University was proud to have been selected as the site for the 2017 Hockey World League Semi-Finals, mainly due its world-class facilities. The Wits Hockey Turf which was built in 2013, is one of a few hockey turfs in South Africa that meets the stringent requirements of the International Hockey Federation (FIH), the organisers of the Hockey World Cup. In addition to the impressive infrastructure, Wits University also boasts an illustrious hockey history when it comes to sporting talent. Fiona is on the coaching staff at Wits with many other ex-Olympians and National players.
Jerzy Siankiewicz, Polish hockey player was born on this day in 1930, the son of Jan and Marianna from Wróblewscy and a graduate of the Vocational School. He started his sporting career in Czarne (1947) and continued on to play for Stal and Warta, winning the Polish champion in 1963. An excellent defender, he won 31 caps between 1952-1960. He represented his county at two Olympics, 1952 in Helsinki where the team were placed 6th, with victories over Belgium and Switzerland and in Rome, 1960, where the team finished 12th. Here the team beat Japan 2-1 but lost to Pakistan 0-8 and took Australia to a 1-1 draw in the group stages. After retiring from the sport in 1964 he became the coach of Warta, where he had very good results with the junior section of the club. He was also active in the District Hockey Association in Poznań and in 1966 was awarded the Champion of Sport title. He died in Poznań on November 2, 1984.
Jade Close, nicknamed Ruby, was born on this day in Wagga Wagga in 1987. She started playing the sport because her sister’s team needed an extra player. She plays for the NSW Arrows in the Australian Hockey League as a striker. She was a ball girl at the 2000 Olympics during the Hockeyroos’ gold medal match. She made her national team debut at the European Tour 2010. When the Hockeyroos new coach Adam Commens chose her as one of four players who were to aid in developing the national side. She was named to the Australia women’s national field hockey squad thatl competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics making her Olympic debut as a twenty-four-year-old, where the team finished a disappointing 5th.
Japanese field hockey player Shunkichi Hamada was born today in 1910. Born in what is now part of Minamiawaji, in Hyōgo, in 1932, while a student at Keio University, he was selected to be a member of the Japanese field hockey team at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. He played two matches as goalkeeper. Thirteen goals were scored against him, but the team won the silver medal. Four years later, Hamada played in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. The team won two games and lost one in the elimination round and did not advance to the final stages of the tournament. Hamada played all three matches as goalkeeper, during which eleven goals were scored against him. He died of heart failure in Shibuya, Tokyo on December 7th , 2009 at the age of 99.
Aletta van Manen, Dutch field hockey defender, was born on this day in 1958 in Wageningen, Gelderland, Netherlands. From 1983 to 1988 she played a total number of 81 international matches for Holland, in which she scored two goals. Affiliated to HGC in Wassenaar, she was a member of the Olympic squads for the 1984 and 1988 Olympics, winning gold in 1984 and bronze in 1988, after which she retired from the game.
Happy Birthday to my beautiful daughter Emma, born on this day in 1985 in Macclesfield, Cheshire
María Alejandra Tucat was born in Argentina on this day in 1961. She started playing hockey as a youngster in 1981 and had the opportunity to join the senior team.She was a member of the Women’s National Team that finished in seventh place at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, after having won the gold medal the previous year at the Pan American Games in Indianapolis. She also played in three world cups. After retiring from competition, she became firstly press officer for the Argentine women’s hockey team and then with the departure of Claudia Medici’s departure took over a team leader.