Richard Leman, one of EGHC's longest serving players and volunteers has been awarded Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen's 2018 Birthday Honours List. Richard received the honour for "Services to Hockey".
There are not many more opportune moments to recap on the highlights of Richard's amazing services to hockey, but today feels highly appropriate. Richard's contribution to hockey has been profound:
Becoming England Hockey Writers' Player of the Year in 1984, Richard went on to the Los Angeles Olympics securing Bronze alongside fellow East Grinstead Team-mate Ian Taylor, beating Netherlands in a thrilling match. This achievement was followed two years later with a Silver medal at the London World Cup narrowly losing out to Australia in the final. These results made Great Britain a medal favourite for the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games where Richard was a member of that Gold Medal winning team. Richard concluded his International career as England and Great Britain Captain between 1988 and 1990, finishing in the Pakistan World Cup in 5th place. By this time, he had amassed 228 International Caps - at the time the most capped England and Great Britain player.
Interspersed with his international career, Richard was the fulcrum of East Grinstead's emergence including winning the national Cup in 1983, the National League in 1985 and also being a member of East Grinstead's first National Indoor title in 1986, a title the club has gone on to win a further 11 times on the men's side and recently for the first time with the women.
Off the field, Richard took on the Chairmanship of East Grinstead Hockey club for 5 years in the 1990's, subsequently forming East Grinstead Sport's Club's Charity which owns the land and infrastructure across what became a multi-sport site including cricket, lacrosse, netball, squash and of course, hockey. Richard served as Chairman of East Grinstead Sports Club from 2003 until 2010 and has been a driving force behind the scaling and modernisation of what is prized locally as a special multi-sport site, well connected to the local community and businesses.
Richard's contributions do not end there however; Richard has served as President of Great Britain Hockey for 10 years including through the period in which London hosted the 2012 Olympic Games, as well as representing hockey at the National Olympic Committee, becoming a Board Member of the British Olympic Association, again serving that role for 10 years.
Richard is an inspiring leader and a volunteer who takes great satisfaction in seeing the successes of those teams and their members to which he has contributed. Commenting on the award, Richard shared his thoughts:
"It is certainly a great honour personally but I do enjoy volunteering and contributing to East Grinstead Sports Club and to hockey in general. From my perspective this is great recognition for those organisations which I'm involved with."
Richard is a role model team player and all of us at East Grinstead Hockey Club offer our congratulations and thanks for the many years of impact he has had on the club, teams, members and volunteers.