Pendle Forest celebrate their half-century in style

Former Scotland international Lil Dykes with the eight remaining players from the 2001 Under 15 national final team
Former Scotland international Lil Dykes with the eight remaining players from the 2001 Under 15 national final team
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Players and supporters, past and present, of Pendle Forest Hockey Club, gathered at the Ace Centre in Nelson on Saturday night to celebrate the club’s 50th anniversary.

Among those in attendance was the club’s founding member Carole Pickles, who reminisced with former teammates and friends during the course of the evening.

Freda Duckett, Service to the Club award winner Sarah Towers and Young Player of the Year Lois Page

Freda Duckett, Service to the Club award winner Sarah Towers and Young Player of the Year Lois Page

Carole was instrumental in forming the hockey club, formerly called Nelson Ladies, for the first season in 1967-68.

Also in attendance was former Scotland international and retired local PE teacher Lil Dykes, who celebrated memories of coaching a talented Under 15 team to the national final in Milton Keynes in 2001.

There they were beaten 2-1 by Millfield with a last-ditch goal.

That team included none other than Charlotte Hartley, who went on to represent England, including playing in Melbourne at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, where she won a bronze medal.

First team award winners with Nick Tofalos of Nick Tofalos Osteopathy

First team award winners with Nick Tofalos of Nick Tofalos Osteopathy

The club have experienced success over the last decade, with Olivia Bythell playing for England in the Sainsburys Youth Games in 2014, before sister Freya Bythell and cousin Thea Cormack represented Pennine Pumas in England Hockey’s Futures Cup in 2016.

Harriet Ashworth and Rebecca Wood have represented Lancashire in the junior age groups, while at the other end of the age range, seven members of the current club have been selected to represent the North in their age group.

Amongst those are current club captain Judith Hind and her twin sister and current club treasurer Janet Mitchell-Stanworth, who were the main organisers for Saturday’s event, which also raised over £1,200 for the club.

This season saw the first team claim a second-successive promotion, as they finished as unbeaten North Division One champions, winning 20 of 22 games.

The team are currently unbeaten in 74 league games, having reached 45 -successive league wins during the season.

They scored 83 goals while conceding just 15.

The first team have also been shortlisted for the England Hockey Women’s Team of the Year, which will be announced at The Athena in Leicester on Saturday, May 19th.

Aswell as catching up with old friends and looking through old photos, the event also included the end of season awards.

First up was third team captain Diane McInnes, who presented a number of awards.

Lois Page was named Most Improved Player, while Emma Ziegloser and Ann-Marie Lambert finished as Top Scorers.

Players’ Player of the Year was Jane Lofthouse, Captain’s Player was Emily Dunleavy and Manager’s Player Paula Markham.

Second team captain Janet Mitchell-Stanworth then presented her awards to the following players: Top Scorers – Judith Hind and Cathy Kilgallon, Players’ Player of the Year – Mawgan Naylor, Captain’s Player – Jayne Kirkpatrick, Entertainment Award – Amy Trickett.

First team captain Dani Hornby then took to the stage to present the following awards: Entertainment Award – Karen Wignall, Top Scorer – Charlotte Hartley, Players’ Player of the Year – Freya Bythell, and Manager’s Player, presented by Scott Hornby – Lisa Crewe.

The final awards of the evening were presented by club captain Judith Hind.

The Judy B Young Player of the Year award went to Lois Page, and the Freda Duckett Service to the Club award went to club secretary Sarah Towers.

The club would like to thank their club sponsors for their continued support – Nick Tofalos Osteopathy, Althams, Functional Fit and Petty Estate Agent, and all those who donated raffle prizes to raise much-needed funds for the club.