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Obituary: Ian Mitchell, 1931-2022

Obituary: Ian Mitchell, 1931-2022

Ali Lubbock7 Aug 2022 - 15:22
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Former Slough Hockey Club first team captain, manager and club stalwart, Ian Leighton Mitchell, sadly passed away on 20 July, aged 91.

Ian Mitchell, holding aloft the European Club Championship Trophy (above)

After a successful career as a player he became manager of Slough HC men’s team and was instrumental during their glory years of the late 1970s and 1980s. With Ian as manager, they won every championship available to them including the European Club Championship in 1980.

Ian was born in Redcar, Yorkshire in 1931. His early sporting interests were in swimming and rugby but due to injury he switched to hockey when at Newcastle University where he played for the University side. He qualified as a Civil Engineer and became a member of the Institute of Civil Engineers. After a short spell of working for British Rail he joined the Central London Polytechnic (now University of Westminster) as a lecturer, where he remained for the rest of his working career. In retirement, apart from a continued interest in Slough HC, he travelled the world extensively.

Ian joined Slough HC in the early 1950s and played in the 1st team for 20 years. He captained the side from 1960-67. He also captained, and later managed the Buckinghamshire county side. Both Ian and his wife Angela captained the county side at the same time.

Ian has always been an active member of the club and served on the committee up until 2016 as well as holding two spells as the Club Chairman. Both of their children Neil and Jenny also played hockey for Slough, Jenny going on to play at the top level. Alongside Angela, the whole family has given so much to the club over the years and something that the club will be eternally grateful for.

He retired from playing top level hockey in 1975 to devote his time instead to managing the men’s 1st team, who were then becoming a powerful force at both outdoor and indoor. The first of several successes was winning the London Hockey League in 1976. Slough then became National Champions in 1977. From 1975 and for the best part of the next 20 years, Ian managed the team to winning every championship available. The list of honours detailed below.

National Club Champions 1977, 1979, 1980 & 1981
European Club Champions 1980
National Indoor Club Champions 1976, 1980, 1981, 1982 & 1983
London League Champions 1976, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1985 & 1987
National Inter League Champions 1976, 1980, 1981, 1982 & 1983
Glenfiddich International Indoor Cup 1982 – Zwolle European Indoor Cup 1981
English County Champions - Buckinghamshire 1980 & 1982

Current Club Chairman, Paps Sandhu said: “We are so sad to hear of the passing of our club legend and friend, Ian Mitchell. Ian contributed immensely to Slough HC as a layer, first team captain, first team manager, Chairman, President and as a committee member for many years.

“Ian had a drive and passion to make Slough Hockey Club a success. As a long-standing member of Slough, he continued to support the club way after he retired from any playing or managerial roles. He was always interested in the development of the club and was instrumental to our success.

“I personally have many fond memories of Ian, especially when I played for him when he was a manager. He was always helping everyone and ensured every aspect was covered whether it was kit, travel, organisation, everything. He was also very encouraging to players and undoubtedly drove the whole club forwards. We would not be where we are today if it wasn’t for all his hard work and efforts.

“We last had the pleasure of Ian at the club during our centenary celebrations back in September 2021. On behalf of Slough Hockey Club and all its members past and present, we wish our sincere condolences and sympathy to his family and close friends at this deeply sad time. We are thinking of you all.”

Ian’s funeral will take place at 1pm, August 31 at Slough Crematorium. If you wish to watch the service details are below. If you knew Ian and would like to pay your respects, you are very welcome to attend both the funeral and the wake which will be held back at Slough Hockey Club.

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