AN Islander has been called up to the England squad again – at the age of 80.
Described as Jersey Hockey’s most famous octogenarian, Tim Pollard will play for England over-80s, after being selected to represent an ‘ancient’ select side at a tournament next month.
Mr Pollard, an experienced masters goalkeeper who will be 81 in July, is due to play in the first international match between England and Holland at Bisham Abbey on 27 and 28 April, which was previously delayed by Covid.
‘People do ask why I am still playing at my age. I’ll only stop playing when I start letting my side down,’ said Mr Pollard.
‘As a goalkeeper, the shots coming at you get a little bit slower as you get older but you still need to have the reactions.’
Before Mr Pollard takes on the Dutch next month, he is due to play for the ancients in the seven-a-side Aspirants vs Ancients tournament at Wellingborough, which is near Kettering.
The ‘ancients’ are over-80s, while the ‘aspirants’ are over-75s, with ladies’ over-55 teams and school sides also due to take part in the tournament.
Mr Pollard, who played for the European-Cup-winning England over-75s in 2017, said that he had no intention of stopping playing while he could still perform.
A spokeswoman for Jersey Hockey said that the organisation wished Tim ‘the very best of luck’.
She added: ‘Masters hockey provides hockey players with fantastic opportunities to play regional and international hockey.
‘If ever we needed more proof that hockey can be played at all ages, here we have it.’