Photo(© FIH \/ hockeyimages.co.uk)
The England teams, athletes and their successes over the past year were warmly celebrated on Wednesday at the annual Hockey Writers' Club Awards. FIH President Leandro Negre was on hand to help dole out the awards to the best male and female players of the year.
Barry Middleton, the 27-year-old Great Britain and England captain and Helen Richardson, the 29-year-old Great Britain, England and Reading central midfielder took away the top honours as the 2010 UK Players of the Year following the annual poll conducted among British members of the Hockey Writers' Club. Both players, recently selected by the FIH in their World squads for 2010, are no strangers to honors.
Richardson, a former Leicester player who returned to England 18 months ago following a successful year with Dutch European Champions Den Bosch, was instrumental in England winning Bronze at the World Cup, Commonwealth Games and the elite Champions Trophy. Richardson also won the award in 2009.
Middleton, winner in 2004 and 2007, was named the top player for a record third time to equal that of Karen Brown. Middleton is currently playing indoor hockey with East Grinstead before returning next month to Germany to play for Der Club An der Alster where he joined this season. He started his hockey career with Doncaster, before moving to Cannock and then to HGC, one of the finest clubs in The Netherlands.
The two received the traditional Rose Bowls and prize money at the presentational Lunch at the Royal Thames Yacht Club, in Knightsbridge, London. Richardson donated her money to the Youth Section of her first club - West Bridgford Monarchs HC, while Barry doing likewise to his first club Doncaster.
Runners-up James Fair (Cannock) and Beth Storry (Reading), were also named in the FIH All Star World Squads, as was last year's men's winner, Ashley Jackson (East Grinstead) who this year finished third. GB and England women's captain, Kate Walsh who has twice won the Award finished third in the women's voting.
Plaques and cheques were also presented to Alice Sharp (University of Birmingham), Andy Bull (Loughborough Students) and Harry Martin (Old Loughtonians & Ipswich School) as winners of the Higgins Group UK Youth Hockey Awards by Richard Higgins, Chairman of Higgins Group plc.
Crista Cullen was also named as the winner of the Marjorie Pollard Salver for 2010 following an outstanding performance for England in the Commonwealth Games.
1983 Margaret Gleghorne & Paul Barber
1984 Karen Brown & Richard Leman
1985 Linda Carr & Sean Kerly MBE
1986 Moira McLeod & Ian Taylor
1987 Violet McBride & Imran Sherwani
1988 Barbara Hambly OBE & Jon Potter
1989 Vickey Dixon & David Faulkner
1990 Maggie Souyave & Andy Halliday
1991 Joanne Thompson & Jason Laslett
1992 Jane Sixsmith MBE & Rob Hill
1993 Sandie Lister & Julian Halls
1994 Karen Brown & Simon Mason
1995 Tammy Miller & Ian Jennings MBE
1996 Kathryn Johnson & Bobby Crutchley
1997 Karen Brown & Jon Wyatt
1998 Carolyn Reid & David Hacker
1999 Christina Cullen & Chris Ashcroft
2000 Jane Sixsmith MBE & Mark Pearn
2001 Jane Smith & Danny Hall
2002 Leisa King & Robert Todd
2003 Kate Walsh & Simon Mason
2004 Christina Cullen & Barry Middleton
2005 Crista Cullen & Jonathan Ebsworth
2006 Crista Cullen & James Tindall
2007 Kate Walsh & Barry Middleton
2008 Beth Storry & Alastair McGregor
2009 Helen Richardson & Ashley Jackson
2010 Helen Richardson & Barry Middleton
Source Material: Hockey Writers' Club