Scouring club newsletters and magazines of days gone by I came across a fascinating report of a game held on Easter Sunday 1939 in Hamburg when Southgate took on Uhlenhorst. Obviously the timing draws the eye but by all accounts it was quite the event.
Below is translated directly from an article in Hamburger Fremdenblatt of 11th April 1939
This match will doubtless stand out in the annals of sporting contents. Spectators stood in a solid mass around the pitch to see how Hockey should be played by rare and thoroughbred players. The English team produced incredible hockey. They controlled the ball in a masterly manner throughout the match and, with ever varying technique, checkmated every move made by the Hamburg team, who were by no means off their best form.
Southgate won the match by three goals to 2 but should’ve been rewarded with two further goals. It cannot be said that Uhlenhorst are a slow team, but they seem slow and spasmodic in comparison with the quickwitted English team. So great was the difference in strength that for 3/4 of the game the English pressed with a superiority, although no goals came for some time due, no doubt, to mistiming their shots in the circle.
At all events the spectators will long remember and always look back with great pleasure on a match in which the English team elegantly displayed a mastery technique and uncanny ball control. Southgate scored first but Uhlenhorst held out against further goals until the interval. At the change over the visitors probably increase the score to 3-1 with two picture perfect goals. Peterson the Uhlenhorst goalkeeper saved more difficult shots really well but now and again lapsed at the critical moment. After the third goal Uhlenhorst had to hold out at all costs but they scored from a corner to make the score 2-3, nevertheless despite the terrific pressure which the Hamburg team exerted they would never be given a real chance to equalise. The English team were too strong, too perfect and too steady. Uhlenhorst went down fighting a better team.
Southgate Scorers Wonnacott 2, Wright 1
The Uhlenhorst Club in question is a Hamburg club and not the Uhlenhorst club Mulheim who defeated Southgate at Bloemendaal in the European club championship of 1988 and which hosted the 1989 championship tournament at the time of this match. John Wonnacott is now deceased and had been the England centre forward and a worthy predecessor to Bobby Dodds, David Dairey and Sean Curly in that position. Billy Wright a vice president, lived in retirement in Worcestershire. Legend has it that a few weeks before that Easter festival the club committee instructed the then Hon Secretary ‘Uncle Hands’ to telephone 10 Downing Street to enquire if the war would start before or after Easter! Presumably he was told not until after Easter. The only other result at the festival now known as Leipzig 2 Southgate 1 but no match report is existent.
(Edited from the club magazine of 1989)
Finally we end with Brian’s email to us last week:
I write in a spirit of acknowledgement and gratitude, for the pleasure of reading such entertaining, informative and nostalgic items in your regular newsletters
Very occasionally a comment or two is needed, but rarely, although this time I wish to bring two points to your attention.
The first is that in the photo showing you centre pic ,against Ricky, you appear to have developed a controversial style of play, in which you demonstrate your ability to play with both hands and stick, entirely behind your back !* Have you found this to be effective in general terms ?.
ed: *it’s been the work of many years developing that, I can pass on my knowledge at Thursday night training. Although I have not necessarily found it effective…yet.
The second point is merely that in the item relating to the doughty Tankards, it is defined as offering hockey to an age range of 13-80yrs.
I can hardly bring myself to point this out ,but purely in terms of accuracy , the range is 13-84 yrs, as this Sat will see me playing Tankards for the third time this year, since stumbling over the 84 marker, having only joined the new Flagons in 1983 from West Herts.
Yours in Hockey
Brian( Speedy Winger )