Stratford Hockey Club’s first documented match was against Blackheath in 1896 but the Club did not come into its present day’s existence until the 1920s.
Initially it was a Sunday side only with both a men’s and a women’s team. There were regular fixtures against the Thespians of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
At some point the ladies team disbanded and a recovery was not started until 1949 but after a few years this failed as they were unable to find a home pitch. A new attempt in 1956 saw the ladies aided by Stratford men who allocated them the use of their pitch in Swan’s Nest Lane. It is this reforming of the club that we celebrate every five years with a gathering of old and new members. We meet and chat and dine, a good time is had by all.
In the early 80s both sections began to increase in size and the ladies first ventured into junior coaching with some success. They produced many good players, some of which are now parents of current players.
The advent of the hockey league in the early 90s saw the men increase to three teams and grass hockey moved on to Astroturf. The club now run six men’s and three women’s teams all playing league hockey. A men’s Veterans team play mid-week friendlies, as well as two development squads the badgers and the Vixens.
Junior coaching for both girls and boys did not begin until the early 90s but has become the lifeblood of the Club with more than 100 juniors down to the age of 5.
Another strong aspect of Stratford is its history of hockey tours. The ladies are especially dedicated and they have been on at least one tour a year since the early 60s. There are a selection of photos from many years in the photo gallery.
Stratford has become a flourishing local club famed for its high quality facilities and a reputation for a good social scene that makes it one of the area’s most popular clubs.