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Glyn Thomas: The Masters goalkeeper who never did, and never will, stop playing hockey



2024 promises to be a huge year for Masters hockey in Wales, with the Men’s O75s side preparing for a Four Nations tournament in May and a World Cup appearance in Cape Town in October.  


A key figure in that team, and someone for whom hockey has always been close to the heart, is goalkeeper Glyn Thomas.

 

Newport Shropshire Hockey Club, of which Glyn is a member, put the 83-year-old up for a Lifetime Achievement Award at the England Hockey Awards recently, although it tells you all you need to know that he turned the invitation to the ceremony down in favour to travel with his teammates and represent Wales O75s at the Four Nations in Belfast. 


It epitomises the dedication and passion he has for the sport, and just why he’s been put up for a Lifetime Achievement Award in the firstplace. 


“Hockey has been my interest since I was a founding member of the Old Wulfrunians Hockey Club in 1953,” Glyn explained when Hoci Cymru chatted with him. “I was at school at Wolverhampton Grammar School and the Old Boys wanted to play hockey on a Sunday. They asked my Mum and Dad if I could play in goal for them and miss Ysgol Sul (Welsh Sunday School) in Wolverhampton!” 


Seventy years later, and hockey remains a central part of Glyn’s life. 


“I must have got better!” he responded when asked what’s kept him in the sport for so long. “When the team started playing on a Saturday and I had finished school, I managed to get into the first team, and this encouraged me to play more and more.” 


The more Glyn played, the more he experienced, especially in the latter stages of his career. 


“My favourite memories have to include singing the national anthem for the first ever Welsh team at an O60s World Cup, in Cape Town in 2010,” he recalled.  


“Also, a fond memory was with my wife as Welsh Manager in the first ever Wales O65s team in the Hague in 2014."


Glyn went on to remember the first team Wales team took to an O70s World Cup, as he captained the side to a medal. 


“Of course, an amazing memory was winning the bronze in Australia for the Wales O70s after keeping out five shuffles. This was the first Masters medal Wales had won! The whole team descended on me for keeping a clean sheet and as captain!” 


With so much achieved in his Masters career, Glyn still has a lot to prepare for, this year alone.  


“I’m looking forward to the Four Nations,” he confirmed. “This is the first time there have been three nations with an O75s team (England, Scotland and Wales) and Ireland are putting together a team of older players to give us a game!” 


With a recent 1-0 victory over the West of England 075s behind them, Glyn and his teammates now have the Four Nations in May, as well as the Swansea Festival and the Dundee Festival later in the year, before the big one in October. 


14 years after his involvement in Wales’ debut at an O60s World Cup, Glyn is already booked to return to Cape Town to represent his country once more.   


It promises to be quite the adventure for our Masters, and Hoci Cymru wish the team the best of luck in upcoming competitions. 

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