British Police


British Police Hockey Team

The idea of having a National representative team was first aired at the National Police Hockey Festival hosted by Thames Valley Police in Reading in September 1980.

At the conclusion of the Festival on 14 September 1980, a Festival X1 was selected from the Force teams present who played against Courage Sports Hockey Team.

The following players were selected to play for the Festival X1:
Andy Halliday (capt) (Metropolitan Police); Jim Marchant (G/K) (Metropolitan Police; Paul Brown (Metropolitan Police; Simon Weston (Metropolitan Police); Merrick Rose (Metropolitan Police; John Turnball (Thames Valley Police); Jim Gillette (Kent Police); Dave Kember (Kent Police); Dave Leadbeater (South Yorkshire Police); Mark Sowerby (South Yorkshire Police); Paul Sanderson (South Yorkshire Police) and John Henry. Dil Bahra of Metropolitan Police was the Manager.

The RUC did not play in the Festival due to cost implications. They had already travelled to Reading earlier in the year for the Finals of the PAA competition.

Frank Attwood (Metropolitan Police), Geoff Rhodes (South Yorkshire Police) and Bill Anderson (RUC) who were on the Police Athletic Association (PAA) Men's Hockey Section committee were the driving forces to get the recognition for a representative side. Len Morris of West Mercia, who was a member of PAA Council drove our cause and eventually in early 1982 British Police Hockey Team was formally recognised.

Our first match was against The Royal Air Force, hosted by Metropolitan Police Hockey Club at Metropolitan Police Sports Club, Imber Court, East Moslesey, Surrey Imber Court on Wednesday 7 April 1982 at 2.30pm.

The team was strengthened by the availability of RUC players. Imran Sherwani, who was a Police Constable in Staffordshire Police from 1981 to 1985 made an immediate impact on team. At the time of joining our team, he was an England Under 21 international. In 1983 he earned the first of 45 Great Britain caps and 49 England caps. Unfortunately, due to a cartilage operation, he missed the Los Angeles Olympic Games. He played with distinction for The British Police Hockey Team in 1985 after his operation and such was his brilliance that British Police never lost a game when he played. In order to further his ambitions, Imran left the Police Service in 1985. He was a member of the successful Great Britain team that won the Gold Medal at Seoul 1988 Olympic Games. He scored two goals in the Olympic Final.

I was involved with the team from the outset, firstly as a Coach until 1987 and then as Manager until I stood down in 1997. Throughout this period, Andy Halliday, also of Metropolitan Police was an inspiring and very supportive team Captain.  Andy was an England Indoor International with over 52 international  caps, eight as Captain.  He went on to manage the England Under 21 team and is currently the Great Britain and England Team Manager.

During my time with British Police Hockey Team, from 1982 to 1997, 57 players from 17 Forces represented the team. We had regular annual fixtures against The Royal Navy, The Royal Air Force, The Army and Civil Service.

Graham Nash, a former Metropolitan Police Officer, who became one of hockey's most world famous umpires, having officiated at five Olympic Games, not only umpired for us but also selected umpires for our Games.

Dil Bahra