Scaling the ranks of England’s hockey leagues has been about more than winning for Richmond’s hockey elite, it has been about forming lifetime friendships.

In the wake of Richmond HC’s men’s first team being named men’s team of the year at the England hockey awards, the scooping of three league titles in as many seasons and a return to the National League structure, men’s captain Andrew Denye explained why hockey in the borough is so special.

He said: “It is just about giving it all for your team, being committed and just helping your friends out because that is what really brings everyone together.

“I have got friends now that I will have for life because of what I have done with them out on the pitch.”

Denye, a Richmond HC member for 12 years, said the club’s recent successes were a source of great pride for all members across the juniors, men’s, women’s and veteran sides.

He said: “It is fantastic for a club when you have an elite section and a men’s and women’s section too.

“But [it is especially] great to have one of the club’s elite teams back on the national stage again as we were last there in 1996 when the likes of Sean Curley played for us and it has been a long time.

“It is great for the club to have a team that everyone can look up to.”

The proud captain put the success of the men’s team being named club of the year down to sheer dedication.

Denye said: “I think there has been a focus in the past four years, say, and a drive to get a group of people together that actually are quite determined to make it happen [and then] getting in a coach that came in and just seemed to gel with the team.”

Richmond HC is one of the country’s oldest hockey outfits, established in 1874, and has moved from Richmond’s Old Deer Park to the Quintin Hogg Memorial Ground near Chiswick Bridge over the years.

The award-winning club boasts more than 450 junior members and about 350 to 400 adult members playing across a variety of different teams, and is looking at running ‘back to hockey’ sessions later this year to
encourage more women back into the sport.

And, in true club style, despite recent successes, club members appear determined not to rest on their laurels as they eye a second promotion.

Deyne said: “When you have momentum I think you have to look to maximise the potential of the team.

“Currently we are looking to do that and if that means we can push up to the premier league then we will certainly look to do that.”

For more details on the club visit the website richmond