Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club - Fred Poole Memorium

It was with sadness that we learned of the death of former 1st team keeper and Club Vice President, Fred Poole, on the 17th December 2010.

Fred played a major part in turning around the playing fortunes of the Club in the early seventies. By the time that I started playing he was one of two BSHC players (the other being Tony Gray) representing Herts at County A level, at a time when playing for the county was something of an achievement.

Prior to joining the Hockey Club, as well as being a very good sprinter, Fred had played a certain amount of rugby. His knowledge of 'rugby songs' was legendary, and to this day his rendering of classics such as 'Craven A' and 'In Mobile' during the transit van trips to Bad Neunar (near Bonn) for the indoor hockey festival, has remained firmly imprinted!

We have all lost a tremendous guy both on and off the pitch.

BSHC was represented on Thursday 6th January 2011 at Fred Poole's funeral by the following:

  • Pam Wilde
  • Tony Wellings
  • Norman Livings
  • Colin & Tricia Barber
  • Simon Hurwitz
  • David Wigens
  • David Manser
  • Mark Surridge
  • Richard Owen

Tributes and comments are coming from those that knew him and will be added to this page

Richard Owen: If I remember rightly Fred was 1st XI goalkeeper when I first played for the club in 1970. When I saw him about two years ago he was still working. We were at Rhodes Arts Centre and his daughter Gemma's boyfriend was the lead in the Buddy Holly and the Cricketers show.

From my club archive I see that Fred was 1st XI captain in 1969/70, 1970/71 and 1971/72. Then he was Ground Sec. for 72/73 and 73/74; later one of a trio of the first Vets Organisers in 78/79 and 79/80 and became a VP in 1981. Maybe not known to all on this circulation but a stalwart of the club, even though he may have lost contact with many, and fondly remembered.

Colin Harker: I just know he was "a good goalie,a good clubman,a good hockey tourist and one of life's good guys".

Tony Gray: Fred Poole was a stalwart of the Hockey Club. He took on many roles within the club both on the playing side and also on the administrative side.

I can’t recall exactly when I first played with Fred but I do remember that he took over from his brother Geoff as 1st eleven keeper in the late sixties early seventies. Fred loved his visits to the Festivals, Thanet, Lowestoft and Clacton and played a major role in organising these events. But I guess the indoor festival at Bad near Bonn will be the one I shall also remember Fred for. As Peter Rook has mentioned his repertoire of rugby songs was unsurpassed.

Fred was a super guy to know very enthusiastic in everything he did and I shall always remember him with fondness. A sad loss

Peter Llewellyn: I have been away and only recently caught up with my email. It was tragic news to hear about Fred and I did some research into old Fixture cards and Thanet programmes.

Fred Poole joined the Hockey Club in the early 1960s and played regularly for the Sunday XI as he played rugby for Cheshunt on Saturdays. When injury curtailed his rugby, Fred became the regular 1st XI goalkeeper until the late 1970s playing on Saturdays and Sundays. He captained the 1st XI from 1969 to 1972 when he became Ground Secretary in the days before a permanent Groundsman was employed.

In those days The Ground Secretary decided if the match was to be played and he marked out the grass pitches and sometimes erected the goals.

In the late 1960s Fred took on the responsibility of organising "The Bishops" at the Thanet Hockey Festival and then in the early 1970s the visits to Bad Neuenahr for 7-a-side indoor Hockey Festival.

Fred continued playing regular hockey and organising "Thanet" until he retired from hockey in the late 1970s/early1980s.

I hope this gives the newer players some idea of the effort and contributions Fred Poole put into BSHC.

Simon Hurwitz: Very sad news. When I first started playing for the Club, whilst at school, in 1969, Fred looked after me. He was an excellent role model and mentor to a young, shy kid. I have many good recollections of playing just in front of him and after the game. I have many memories of festivals with him, particularly Thanet and Bad Neuenahr.
I remember him well and always will.

Fred's family wish to thank everyone who attended his funeral and for the many cards, messages of sympathy and donations to Cancer Research UK in his memory. Thanks also to everyone for their help and support during this difficult time and to Michael Prior and all at Daniel Robinson & Sons for their kindness and care