Surbiton Club HistoryFounded in 1874, Surbiton is the second oldest hockey club in the world continuously playing the modern game of hockey ever since, apart from during the two world wars. Surbiton played its first match on 3rd February 1875 against Teddington in Bushey Park, winning by two goals to one and the club was unbeaten until 26th January 1878.
Surbiton was the first winner of the London League in 1970. In the 1970′s however the Club’s fortunes declined and the Club management embarked on a major youth training and Club development programme. The first of the “home grown” players came into the 1st Xl in 1984 and started the turnaround in the Club’s on-pitch fortunes by winning the Surrey Cup in 1986 and finishing 6th in the London League.The rebuilding of the Clubhouse in 1986 together with the formation of a Ladies section in 1988 and the completion of the first floodlit, artificial grass pitch in 1991, allowed the Club to offer one of the most attractive hockey and social environments in the South of England and sustained the impetus to carry the Club to the top echelons of the game. A second artificial pitch was completed in 1995 and the original pitch was upgraded to international water-based standard in 2001. All home fixtures for the 20 senior sides are played on artificial grass.Although we did not make it into the National League when it started in 1988, Surbiton won the London League in 1990 and again in 1991, thereby gaining entry to the 2nd Division of the National League. Immediate promotion to the 1st (top) Division was gained by winning the 2nd Division, but this was followed disappointingly by relegation in 1993.Over the next four seasons, promotion was again followed by relegation, before the Club cemented its place among the elite in the Premier Division in 1999. In 2001, Surbiton finished 2nd in the Premier Division and won the Premier Division playoffs and, as a result, represented England in the European Club Championship in Antwerp in 2002, losing the bronze medal to Egara, the Spanish representatives.In 2002, Surbiton finished 2nd again in the Premier Division, but lost the Premier playoffs final to Reading 3-2. As a result, we represented England in the European Cup Winners Cup in Spain in 2003. Here we won the bronze medal – Surbiton’s first international medal! – beating the Polish representatives in a tight game.In 2003, Surbiton finished 3rd in the Premier Division, but lost their first game in the playoffs to Loughborough Students, immediately after returning from Spain.
Surbiton’s strength lies not only with the M1s, but with the high standard throughout the Club. Other teams have been equally successful over the last few years, with the M2s, M3s and M4s all winning their respective London Leagues and playoffs on several occasions and other teams also coming out on top in the Surrey Open League and the three Veterans Leagues.
We currently have 9 internationals in the men’s section and 4 junior and 6 senior internationals in the ladies’ section.
Surbiton Ladies have, since 2004-05, risen from the Surrey Ladies League Premier Division, up to the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division. Having been relegated from the South Clubs’ Women’s Hockey League Division Two to the Surrey League in 2003-04, Surbiton Ladies discovered that on their return to the regional league, that the South League had added a third division, split into two regions (3A and 3B). Far from daunted, Surbiton Ladies won Division 3B at the first attempt; and after finishing fourth, then second, in their first two seasons in Division 2; won promotion to Division 1 in 2008-09. At the end of the 2009-10 season, Surbiton Ladies had won promotion to the Women’s England Hockey League for the first time in their history, after their second successive championship triumph, finishing top of SCWHL Division 1. In 2010-11, Surbiton Ladies finished as runners-up to Sevenoaks in the newly sponsored Investec Women’s Hockey League Conference East; and then last season (2011-12) Surbiton won the Conference East, and then finished second in the Investec Promotion Tournament, to ensure that they would play in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division in 2012-13. In addition, Surbiton Ladies have played in two successive Investec Women’s Cup finals whilst in the Conference East, losing 4-1 to Premier Division opposition on both occasions (Bowdon Hightown in 2010-11; and the University of Birmingham in 2011-12).
L2 are now in the South Clubs’ Women’s Hockey League Division 3B, while the other six ladies’ teams compete with varying success in the Surrey League. The 500-strong Colts’ section now provides the opportunity for talented young players to progress to county, divisional and national age group representative sides as well as to the top sides in the Club itself. Several players have made this progression and one is a regular in the England and GB international teams.