It is with great sadness that I write this note to inform members of the death of Colin Dyer, possibly the greatest player ever to wear the Blue and Gold of Upminster Hockey Club. Having been diagnosed with Dementia and Parkinson’s two years ago, Colin died peacefully on the 27th October with his family around him. Colin joined the Club with a strong hockey pedigree. His father, Eddie, was a lifelong member, First Team Captain and an Essex Selector. Colin himself played many years for the Club in the late 60’s; 70’s and 80’s when his skill and ability shone through which propelled him to County Level and subsequently he was selected to play for England on two or three occasions. That in itself was exceptional given that Upminster was not itself a ‘fashionable’ Club.
Colin was a full back of the Old School – ‘They shall not pass’ – and very few did. He was unparalleled in the art of the reverse stick tackle with his left arm fully extended. He had a vice like grip and was very difficult to beat. No mean feat in the days of playing on grass pitches when the ball did not always travel in a straight line. Having been talent spotted and recruited by the England Selectors, he was spirited away to play for Southgate in the London League and played for several seasons at the highest level possible in the country at that time. Towards the end of his playing career he returned to UHC, where he plied his trade developing the next generation of County aspirants for which we were very grateful.
He was forever the True Gentleman and a legend within Essex Hockey and the Club. He was a quality player in every respect. His attitude and approach to the game was exemplary. To the best of my knowledge he never received a card of any colour throughout the whole of his playing career.
As well as being the outstanding player that he was, Colin served the Club as Fixture Secretary for many years before Leagues were introduced, when every game for every team had to be individually negotiated for the whole season. A nightmare prospect, but one which he relished and performed with total dedication and efficiency.
Having left the City, where he was a Manager for Barclays Bank, he moved from Upminster to Petersfield in Hampshire where he has lived for the past 11 years with his wife, Mary.
His funeral will take place at 11.30 on Monday 19th November at The Oaks Havant Crematorium, Barton’s Road, Havant, Hampshire PO9 5NA. His family have indicated that anyone wishing to attend would be very welcome and also to join them afterwards for refreshments and to share memories of Colin.
President – UHC