According to the local paper of January 19th 1894 the first fixture was played at St. John's Paddock on the previous Saturday by a mens team against the Oxford Graduates.Ten years later, until the First World War, a mixed eleven was playing regularly at Howbery Park in Crowmarsh in green and white kit. The next reference related to the use once again of the Paddock for a team of men, one of whom, Harry Duck, was still playing for Wallingford 50 years later.
The club grew and prospered with the establishment of Ladies and Mixed teams right up to 1939 when war again intervened. The Club was revived in 1947 with two mens teams playing in the Bullcroft and sharing changing facilities with the Wallingford Football Club. The Wednesday XI was composed mainly of tradespeople and farmers, whilst in the Saturday side, teachers and businessmen predominated. In the 1960s a mixed team developed for Sunday fixtures, also a separate Ladies club was formed using a pitch at the Grammar School. The fact that both girls and boys had the opportunity to learn the skills at school provided a major stimulus to the sport in the area, and soon five or six teams were playing each week.
Negotiations with the Hospital Authorities resulted in the establishment of two pitches at the Paddock plus the purchase and building of a Clubhouse with changing rooms. Members provided the funds and the labour for this project. The rapid growth of Hockey and other sports in the town created a demand for the provision of better facilities which was resolved by the Town Council's generous granting of a 28 year lease of their land at the Hithercroft, together with the formation of the Sports Trust, a co-operative venture which provided a home for seven clubs.
Eventually the two Hockey Clubs joined forces and an all weather pitch was laid at the club in summer 1995 at a cost of approximately £500,000. The club continues to benefit from a fine playing surface thanks to further investment to replace the carpet in summer 2009 and upgraded lights in November 2011.
1993 was a landmark year for the club with its formation of its junior section, the Wallingford Wildcats. Our thoughts should go out to the pioneers who, 120 years ago, laid the foundations of a club which has given the citizens of Wallingford and the surrounding area great happiness and recreation. Should anyone have even the slightest doubt about the future of the Club, come down to Hithercroft on a Sunday morning or a midweek evening in the autumn and witness 290 children and teenagers aged 5 upwards learning the skills of our special game at THEIR town's Sports Park. Or raise a glass in our well appointed clubhouse on the last Sunday in January to the efforts of over 400 players under the age of 12 from clubs all over the area taking part in over 100 matches at the annual Wallingford Wildcats tournament.
|Last Updated on Sunday, 10 August 2014 13:32|