A hockey coach is celebrating his golden success on the world stage.
Mick Christopher was part of the Over 60 England team who won gold at the Grand Masters hockey tournament, held alongside the recent World Cup in Holland.
The 60-year-old was a key part of the England ‘LX’ team which took part in the 60 to 65-year category.
Facing up against teams from Holland, Argentina, south Africa, Japan, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, Mick helped the England side to the final of the trophy competition where they played England’s B team and came out on top.
Mick, of North Shields, said: “This was my first international event. It was absolute magic, I loved every minute.
“The camaraderie and social side of things on my team was fantastic. It was like a working holiday.”
He added: “It was a 10-day competition in the Hague with six games played.
“It was quite physically demanding and tiring, especially as it was hot most days, sometimes reaching 29c.
“We were glad for the rest days, I went out sightseeing and also took in the main World Cup event as well.
“There was about 1,200 grand masters in total at the event.
“At our age, there was quite a big difference in tempo of the games.”
Mick, who coaches at Newcastle University, added: “The grand masters have a world cup in two years’ time and the next one is in Newcastle, Australia, while the European championships will be in St Albans next year.
“As I’m one of the younger members of the 60 to 65-year team, I’m hoping I can be selected for those teams.
“It’s an honour to represent my country at these kind of events.”
Mick has been playing hockey for 40 years, started off playing for the DSS team at Longbenton but in the last 30 years has been playing for Tynemouth Hockey Club.
The Grand Masters hockey tournament features players aged 60 to 75, split into three categories – 60 to 65; 65 to 70; and 70 to 75.