David J Prosser: Wales and GB International
It is with deep regret Hockey Wales report that David Prosser passed away on 24 January.
David was a true legend of Welsh Hockey. He learned his hockey at Kingston Grammar School, playing in the famous ‘cage’ – a very large cinder square playground. David was first capped for Wales whilst still at school, aged 17 and his first international was the game v Ireland at Newport on 19th March 1960.
David represented Wales at international hockey from his debut on 19 March 1960 until 15 April 1972. In total he represented Wales on 69 occasions and on 29 March 1967 broke the then Wales record for the number of caps, held at that time by Graham Dadds. He played in the first ever European Cup in Brussels in September 1970. David also played for Wales in 6 indoor internationals and played in the first ever indoor tournament in Paris 1973. David captained the Welsh side and was the captain of the famous first ever victory against England on 9 August 1970 at Colston’s School, Bristol. His final cap was the 1-1 draw against Scotland at Wrexham.
After his distinguished playing career was over David coached the Wales Senior outdoor squad in 23 internationals including finishing 6th in the European Cup 1978, Wales’ best ever finish, as well as coaching the indoor squad in 43 internationals.
He represented Great Britain in 16 internationals, at a time when very few Welshmen were selected for GB and captained them at 23 years of age on the 6-week Australian Tour as well as later Madrid Tournament and the Pre-Olympic Tournament of 1967.
David being presented with his GB cap by Lewis
David spent much of his life involved in hockey both with Wales, GB and domestically. He started mini-hockey in South Wales in the early 1980’s and branded it Mini Magic – a very popular form of the sport. David coached Marlborough Hockey Club juniors, where he started with just 14 players and expanded the section to over 130 junior players. He played for Old Kingstonians Hockey Club from 1961 onwards and captained the club for 9 years; he also represented Middlesex at county level, again captaining the county. He was also involved with Whitchurch HC, coaching them in league and European tournaments.
He was very proud of his son, Lewis, following in his footsteps and travelled to watch him at every opportunity. The crowning glory was when Lewis became the record caps holder at that time.
David continued to help hockey in Wales on the marketing and sponsorship front using his many business links in the British media. He was very supportive of The Hockey Museum together with the Wales Cap Project and the History of Welsh Hockey, supplying information about games, players and his time playing for Wales.
A true icon of Welsh hockey has sadly left us.
Our deepest condolences go to his family and friends.
Picture: Courtesy of The Hockey Museum