About Us

Penguin Hockey Club was founded in 1948 by a group of ex-servicemen, keen to start their own team in their home town of Worthing. The inspiration for the name of the club came from a then popular piece of big band music – ‘The Penguin Trot’ – which was originally adopted as a club ‘anthem’ (until the music mercifully went out of fashion the following decade). Once established the club rented council grounds and took part in competitive matches as well as starting up mixed fixtures which were a relatively new development in the game. This was driven by founder member Gerry Brassington’s vision of the club being developed along ‘Sport for All’ lines with family participation the key – playing and socialising together.

By the 60’s the club had two men’s’ teams, a ladies team and a mixed side playing Sunday fixtures. Social fundraising events took place such as Christmas Draws, Grand National sweep-stakes and the occasional armed robbery in order to maintain the solvency of the club. To further facilitate family involvement, it was decided to establish a youth team - young chaps in their early teens paying subsidised match fees and using shared kit. The team became known as the Rockhoppers (an apt name derived from an untidy looking, smaller but extremely noisy breed of Penguin).

To help widen the appeal of the mixed game, an annual six-a-side tournament was held at the Manor Ground every October. From humble beginnings, the tournament became a well attended, competitive event with trophies awarded - Penguin ladies took on the responsibility for providing refreshments, as is right and proper. Eventually, following on from the success of a one day summer festival held in conjunction with Littlehampton Hockey Club, and after suffering cancellations to the October festival due to inclement weather, it was decided that an event earlier in the year was likely to be more successful. A three day mixed festival was held over the May Day Holiday weekend and became the popular event still running today, providing a happy and celebratory end to the hockey season and helping to secure the club’s financial future (as well as keeping local St John’s Ambulance crews, Community Police Officers and Coastguards in business).

Meanwhile, by 1972 a Sports Centre had been built in Durrington and Penguins had negotiated the use of the facilities there including the all-weather ‘red-gra’ pitch. Players have fond memories of sitting in the bath after home games trying to pick bits of gravel out of the extensive cuts and grazes in their knees and not being able to walk for a few days without breaking scabs. The pitch was eventually replaced by a synthetic grass surface which was shared by Penguin and Worthing Hockey Clubs until Worthing's move to St Andrews school in 2005.

In 2010 Penguin’s finally found their own home venue - the new Astro pitch at Angmering School. With a good crop of fresh young talent coming through and plans being drawn up for a state-of-the-art clubhouse complete with toilet and dartboard, Penguin Hockey Club is set fair for a long and successful future.