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Bob 'Banzai' Hindle

Last Friday, the 26th November, SUBHC lost a club legend. The following eulogy has been written by his dear friend, Phil Budgell:

Born 25-12-36

Died 26-11-21

Bob, and his sister Colleen, were born in Burma and moved to the UK in 1951 to live on Gatefield Road, Abbeydale with their aunt. Bob was always proud that his mum was a feisty lady who challenged the then Director of Education for not allowing Bob and Colleen to attend the right school. A feisty mum – nature or nurture – or does it matter?

After a playing career that:

· started in 1957 with Sheffield Bankers Hockey Club; and

· included stints at St. George’s Newcastle and Liverpool Sefton, as he pursued his career with ICI;

Bob finished his playing career as a Vet with SBHC. There are still members who remember his cry of, “To my stick”, as he stalked the opposition ‘D’ in his bandana!

Although he had a formidable reputation as a player, it was at a time when Sheffield Bankers Hockey Club had a poor public image. It was not seen as a friendly club or a pleasant club to visit – of more later!

Bob was very important to:

· a number of young players, on whose development as players and as people he was a really positive influence; and

· a number of visiting young Australian players with whom he shared his home.

He was also a great advocate of the amalgamation of SBHC and initially Sheffield University Men’s Hockey Club; to be followed by the amalgamation with Sheffield University Women’s Hockey Club.

However, it was in his later years as Chair of Sheffield University Bankers Hockey Club, that Bob ensured that the club lived up to his own strapline for SUBHC – ‘the friendly club’.

By personal example, he ensured that it was possible to be livelong friends with club members with whom he had diametrically opposed views on politics, religion, education and even Brexit.

Bob really started to exert his positive influence when he became an umpire and later the Technical Delegate for home matches. He was very clear how the club should meet and greet the neutral umpires and the members of the opposition – and whether his halftime coffee should be laced with Bourbon!

His positive influence continued after the game:

· initially in the Cobden View when he ensured that the small room became reserved for visiting umpires, opposition officials and senior members of SUBHC; and

· later in The Dam House when there was always a group ‘chaired’ by Bob that ensured that SUBHC won the ‘most sociable club’ award from the umpires.

He also acted a ‘Master of Ceremonies’ at the End of Season Meal; complete with bow tie and a penchant for reproaching younger members of the club who did not meet his high standards of behaviour.

At about the time that he stepped down from being chair of club, he was responsible for setting up an informal ‘coffee morning’ for senior club members. In retrospect, this turned out to be particularly important initiative by and for Bob. He loved the coffee mornings: the conversations; sometimes serious, occasionally boisterous, particularly when he managed to ‘score a bullseye’ and take one of the others off at the knees. The coffee group, that rarely had the same opinion on anything, managed to meet most weeks prior to Covid-19 and then on Zoom on a Wednesday morning.

It was at about this time that SUBHC had to move from Goodwin to Norton but this was too much for Bob. He did not want to be dependent on other people to take him to and from Norton. However, deep down he was angry with Sheffield University for moving the hockey pitch to Norton.

Consequently, Bob’s life became more focussed on ‘facilities’ that were within walking distance of his home on Eastwood Road:

· Sainsburys to do his shopping;

· La Patisserie, for coffee on a Wednesday morning;

· Ladbrokes, most mornings;

· The Porter Cottage, any evening that he fancied a Guiness; for example, when there was a ‘y’ in the day; and

· when the weather was nice enough, his garden.

He particularly enjoyed the ‘garden parties’; they functioned as an extension of the coffee group. It started with helping him with the shopping, jars of homemade marmalade and jam, but continued with soups and casseroles: things that enabled him to continue as a hospitable and congenial host. Whatever, their individual politics, religion, educational background and views on Brexit, it enabled his family and mates to show him that they cared.

He was a hockey player

He was fast

He was skilful

He became a core member of the club

He became someone you could rely on

He was not a picture postcard

He was sometimes an old curmudgeon

But he was a Banker to his very soul


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