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William Hudden (1871-1951) - Wales Hockey International

My sincere thanks go to Phil Bailey, Hockey Wales historian, for his assistance in putting together this article.

William Hudden was the third of three brothers to attend Bloxham School. The three sons of Wiliiam Paul Hudden, a tobacco manufacturer of Westbury Park, Bristol, were pupils at the school between 1874 and 1879 (Paul Lanphier Hudden), 1874 and 1880 (George Latham Hudden) and 1884 and 1888 (William Edward Cecil Hudden). Hudden & Co. traced their involvement in the tobacco industry to 1790, Paul was listed as a tobacco manufacturer in the census for 1881, 1891 and 1901, but by the time of the 1911 census he was described as the Managing Director of The Cigar Manufacturing Company. His son, also Paul, followed him into the tobacco industry in his turn.

John Lysaght, Bristol

William took a different path from his father and eldest brother. At Bloxham, as well as playing for the school 1st XI in both cricket and football, he distinguished himself in drawing, being classified third in the whole of England in the Cambridge Locals (the equivalent of A Levels). After leaving school he took up work in the engineering firm of John Lysaght Ltd. In the 1891 census he was described as an iron manufacturer’s apprentice in Tettenhall, Staffs. By the time of the 1901 census he had moved to Llantarnam in Monmouthshire, where he became the Assistant Manager of a sheet iron works. Later he became the Manager, and lived at Holly House, Croesyceiliog. By 1925 he had moved back to Bristol (more accurately, Clifton).

Bloxham Cricket XI, 1888 – William Hudden is sitting at right

William played cricket for Monmouthshire and hockey for Newport, a club which provided a great many players to the national side in that era, and he made one appearance for the Welsh hockey team, against England at Bath on 12 March 1904. A match report in The Irish Daily Independent and Nation credited Hudden, playing at full back, with stout defence to keep the English out and help Wales to lead 1-0 at half time. England then scored four goals in a ten-minute spell early in the second half and maintained that lead until the final whistle. William never played for Wales again. Bloxham School has produced age group internationals for England and Wales, and more recently full internationals for Germany and Scotland, and is now proud to have unearthed its first hockey international, who represented Wales at an early stage of its international journey, when England and Ireland were the strongest sides around. The very first hockey international was played between Wales and Ireland in 1895; Wales would not beat England for the first time (in Bristol) until 1970!

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