The Hereford Hockey Club was established early in 1896 and was formed by members of the Rowing Club with the idea of keeping themselves in good form during the winter months. The first ever match was played on Thursday 6th February that year against Leominster Hockey Club (founded in 1894) and resulted in a 2-2 draw. Home matches were played at the Wyeside ground.
By 1906 the club was running two teams and are recorded as playing on the Barrack ground and then securing a site in Edgar Street. Twenty years later (1926) matches were being played on the Racecourse ground, the A.G.M. of that year being held at the City Arms Hotel in Broad Street. Games continued to be played at the Racecourse until the outbreak of World War II in 1939.
It was 1946 before any organised hockey returned, as before on the Racecourse but now as a Section of the newly formed Hereford City Sports Club. The next thirty years saw a friendly, though small, club providing an important hockey outlet in the City. During this time the Club started a six-a-side tournament that was to run for over 35 years. But 1977 was on the way and in the next quarter century everything about hockey at the club was to change out of all recognition!
Why 1977? It was the year the Club was introduced to League hockey - the Mens 1st XI playing their first match in October that year in the 'Debenhams West Hockey League' at home on the grass pitch at the Racecourse. The result - a 3-2 win. The numbers taking part in the West League grew rapidly, the name changing to the 'Sun Life West League' in the very early 1980's. The Club won two titles in those early years, Divn II North (Section A) in '79/80' and North Divn I in '84/85'
The Ladies Hockey section had also started playing League hockey in the late 1980's and over three seasons from '94/95' to '96/97' experienced promotion from the West Clubs Women's League Severn Divn 1, relegation from North Divn 1 and promotion, again, from Severn Divn 1. The 2nd XI started playing League Hockey later and won Severn Divn 3 in '98/99'.
The next major change occurred in time for the '90/91' season. It was the arrival of the Council's artificial pitch situated between the Club and the Leisure Centre. Youth hockey took off and the Club expanded to accommodate this welcome addition to it's numbers. During the 1990's the club was generally running 3 Mens and 2 Ladies league sides. In 93/94 the Mens league was extended to incorporate teams from south Wales as well. Further titles were won, the Mens 1st XI winning North Divn 1 in '98/99' and the 2nd XI winning in North-East divisions in two consecutive seasons.
A number of good cup runs have also been enjoyed by the Club, capped by the Veteran's squad reaching the Semi-finals of the National Veterans Cup in April 2001,while in the following year they reached the quarter-final stage.
In 1996 the Club celebrated it's Centenary and the inaugural Centenary Cup match was played against Haslemere Hockey Club.
And the latest changes? They both occurred in 2001 when the club first occupied the new Clubhouse (on the site of the old Grandstand buildings) and when the Ladies' and Men's sections finally amalgamated to become the present 'Hereford Hockey Club'. Now with 2 Ladies and 4 Mens League teams, as well as thriving Junior, Veterans and occasional Mixed Sections, the Club looks forward eagerly to the years ahead
Bill Housden - Club Sec. (1964-66 & 74-97)