OLD BORDENIAN HOCKEY CLUB

We are fortunate that the founding members of the club were asked some years ago to record their memories of the origins of the club. Two of those members have since passed away. Those written records of the early chapters of the club’s history are priceless: they set out the thoughts and deeds of those gentlemen who sowed the seeds, and set up the basic structure, of the club of which we are extremely proud and which provides us with so much pleasure.

Ernie Millen recorded that, at the beginning of the Second World War, he and Ron Jarrett shared thoughts on putting together a hockey team and arranging a few fixtures. Ron, back from Oxford, and Ernie, also back from college, during the Christmas holidays of 1939 and the Easter holidays of 1940 arranged games against Borden Grammar School, RAF Eastchurch and RAF Detling. It is a matter of great sadness that Ron Jarrett, a very talented sportsman, lost his life in the service of his country during the War and did not, therefore, witness the flourishing of the club which was founded on those thoughts which he shared with Ernie Millen. We are please to record, however, that Denis Jarrett, another founding member of the club and brother of Ron, has witnessed the expansion and success of the club to the present day and, as a vice-president, remains one of our most committed and loyal supporters.

On his release from the army in the summer of 1945, Ernie set about developing the idea of setting up the Old Bordenian

Hockey Club. His brother, Aubrey, took on the role of Fixtures Secretary and Gerry Hooker and Ernie sought out the players. The nucleus of that team comprised Ernie Millen, who captained the team, Aubrey Millen, Gerry Hooker, Denis Jarrett, Brian O’Connell, Leslie Boyceson, Roy Foster, Derek Munson, Bill Highton, Bernard Ward, Brian Allard, Roy Hill and Bill Usher. It must be mentioned that Bill Usher played in one of the celebration games which commemorated the club’s fiftieth anniversary in the 1995/96 season and, furthermore, scored his team’s goal in the 1–1 draw! In all, thirty three players were called upon in that first season, some still in the services and playing when on leave. The first game, against Old Williamsonians, resulted in a 7–2 victory in which Derek Munson scored a hat-trick. Eighteen games were arranged, of which only one was lost, that being 1-0 to the Royal Marines at Chatham. Alan Highton umpired throughout the season and Mr Holness, the groundsman, prepared the pitch and looked after the hockey balls.

Teas were taken in the upstairs room at Smith’s, which was a restaurant in Sittingbourne High Street near to Burton’s, for which a charge of 2/6d (12 ½ p) per player was levied, the umpires’ teas being provided at no charge to them. All travelling was done by public transport.

A very enjoyable and successful season was celebrated with a dinner at the Bull Hotel in Sittingbourne.

The club’s first Annual General Meeting was held in September 1946 with Mr George Hardy, headmaster of Borden Grammar School, in the chair. Ernie Millen stood down as captain as he was unable to play regularly and Gerry Hooker took over, with Aubrey Millen as Hon. Secretary and Brian Reynolds as Hon. Treasurer. In the summer of 1946, the club became affiliated to the Kent County Hockey Association. The Old Bordenian Hockey Club has played each season since 20th October 1945.

We are currently fielding 6 men’s sides,2 ladies team, and U14, U16 and U18 junior sides. Both Men’s & Ladies sides are playing within the Kent and South Leagues.

The junior sides are having a lot of success, with a number of the players playing for Kent and our own men’s & ladies’ teams.