A progressive forward thinking club recognised in 2014 as one of the top 5 clubs in the UK by England Hockey, the club continually works hard in the area to develop hockey for the club and the area itself. Through school partnerships created with the Club First accreditation, the clubs development coaches have been expanding their net of schools they work with and increase the participation levels of different ages.
The Club started in 1951 as a section of the Furness Shipbuilding Company’s Athletic Club. The Hockey Team stayed at until 1967 at the excellent grounds of the Athletics Club at Marlborough Road, Haverton Hill, now long disappeared when the bulldozer moved in.
Arthur Painter was the first Secretary and was instrumental in establishing Furness Athletic Club. He had a keen group of officials focused on making the club a success little did they know 63 years later on the club would be one of the top clubs in the county.
The club has grown steadily over the years and in 1965 a second team was formed, then in 1967 the shipyard was sold to Swan Hunters and the Athletics Club disbanded, this led the team without a permanent home up to 1976. In these Nomadic years, the team utilised facilities at Thornaby CC, Thornaby Pavillion, Smiths Dock Park, Preston CC, Harold Wilson Sports Centre before finding our home at Marton Cricket Club in 1976.
The motivation in the club stayed but the move to Marton strengthened morale and Captains Jim Trainer, Stewart Hicks, Les Waller Keith Haggerstone, and Keith Harrison kept the ship on the right course. Important players remained and were part of the maintained growth when we joined Marton people like Dave Livingstone, Les Blackburn, Gordon Bedford and Geoff Snowden.
In 1970 a third team was formed and over the years had a series of woman's teams merging with the Club but none remained until we set up our own Ladies team in 2012.
The Hockey team won the County Cup in 1975 and 1976 and as a result, we became the first North East Club to represent the North East in the National Championships although we didn’t win the Trophy we did beat the European Champions, Southgate at the event.
Within a few years we became Marton Furness Hockey Club, we grew to 4 teams over the next years but in recent years the club has bloomed with a strong coaching set-up.
In the last 3 seasons, the club has moved forwards from being just able to field 4 men’s sides and the collapse of the ladies section to a position where the club can now field 5 men’s sides and 2 ladies sides going into the 2018/19 season. The club has gone from strength to strength in membership and participation but also on results on the field.
In the season 2013/14 MFHC have had 3 teams promoted. The Ladies 1st XI have won their league (Durham Clubs div 2) and also gone on to win the Durham County Ladies Plate beating Norton Ladies 1st XI 2-1 in the final. The ladies team comprises of 2 students (21 years old) from Teesside University and the remaining 14 players are all U17. This for the club has been seen as a massive achievement for the team considering the season previous when they were relegated with only 2 goals scored and 1 point gained following the demise of the MFHC Ladies section that season. MFHC Men’s 2nd XI won promotion to the North East Premier league on the last day of the season beating league winners Whitley Bay & Tynemouth 3-0 to secure promotion. This followed a difficult season in a fiercely contested league but the team managed to score over 100 goals in the process. The Men’s 4th XI used to develop younger players along with the 5th and 6th XIs also gained promotion play off which they missed out on. MFHC participate in the local Indoor competitions in both men’s and women’s leagues. This has given the clubs ladies section the exposure and new experience in playing indoor for many for the first time. Whereas with the men’s side both A and B teams managed to reach a cup final this season with the B team walking away with the Indoor Plate. Again this B side was a developmental Junior side with each player being U16 with 1 player each week being over 18 to support and offer guidance.
MFHC pride themselves on being able to offer hockey at all levels for all abilities and also be able to offer the competitive age group level opportunities. This is why the club entered and participated in the Boys U16 and U14 National Development competition and the Girls U14 National Development competition being the only club from the North East or even North of Leeds to enter. In the North East the league run a Junior Development League for U18s and U13s of which MFHC won the U18s league and in the U13s competitions the club managed to field 3 sides and offered hockey for all of those players unable to play hockey at league level of National Age group level due to their age. And although all 3 of the U13 sides finished bottom of the league table each and every player who participated enjoyed every moment even when it was wet, windy and freezing cold they all played hockey for the enjoyment of it.
The club has adopted a coaching development plan and is working hard with its coaches to ensure that players are able to get quality and consistent coaching across the year and across the groups.
Throughout the year MFHC has worked with Teesside University Hockey Club, 4 secondary schools and 10 primary schools delivering hockey to all ages and abilities. The club has also ran Rush Hockey sessions at different venues and are holding a number of Back to Hockey events this April in hope of bringing more hockey players out of retirement and back to love the game.
A lot of the success is the support given by Marton Cricket Club in it’s support for our Development program.
The Hockey Club was nominated for England Hockey’s Club Of the Year at the end of season event in May 2014, we were not the winners but we did receive great recognition and feedback for our efforts as players and coaches as well as the vision we have for hockey in the Marton area.
The last 38 years has been a Union with Marton Cricket Club and as a section we congratulate them on 150 years of Cricket at Marton