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England Club Champions 2013, Men's England Hockey Premier League Winners 2013, Euro Hockey League England no 1 seed and Ladies North Champions 2013 - huge achievements for a hockey club whose manager had no interest in the game until he joined Trent College as a pupil nearly 50 years ago.
Old Trident Graham Griffiths, known as Griff to all his friends and members at Beeston Hockey Club could put his success in developing the club to its dizzy heights of success down to inspiration taken from his school days at Trent College.
Graham attended Trent from 1964 to 1970, as a boarder in Wortley House. Thinking he would be going to school and playing football, Graham actually became the first XV Rugby Captain and Vice-Captain of the boys hockey team! Having spent 17 years with West Bridgford Hockey Club and the last 27 years with Beeston, he has never looked back. Graham recently featured in The Derby Telegraph due to his success, to them he said the following.
“I went as first team captain and then replaced myself and became the first manager of the Club. They’ve only ever had one. There was a change in hockey around that time. Up to then the first team captain did everything. He would coach the side, cut the oranges at half-time and paint the balls during the week. But in my late 30s, the legs weren’t working but the mind was, so I went down that route and it’s worked very well”.
The club continues to develop under the watchful eye of Griff, with Co Chair of the club Martin Keeling at grassroots level with the Colts, the junior section of the club which boasts nearly 500 members from ages 6 to 18 years. Many of junior members are from local schools, including a number from various year groups at The Elms Junior School and Trent College.
“A lot of the kids from the local schools who want to improve come to us because our coaching is better than anyone else’s. As long as we can keep on top of that then it will grow and grow, hopefully. When I came to Beeston, they were a sleeping giant, very low down in the Midlands structure and going backwards. We need to put the brakes on and, since then, we’ve been moving forward a couple of inches each year. We took the Play-off title for the first time in 2011 and had won the Cup four times, three of them in succession, and that was the platform we built it on”.
So, having anticipated a keen interest in football, Old Trident Graham Griffiths can be very proud of his achievements and those around him at Beeston Hockey Club, which all started with that long barrier, or maybe short corner at Trent College!