There was a packed touchline at Brookes yesterday afternoon as players and umpires from across the club came together to pay their respects and celebrate the life of goalkeeper Tim Bence, who collapsed on pitch last weekend and later died. Tim’s parents Sylvia and Mike joined us, along with his aunts Tricia and Janet, to watch Tim’s team, the men’s 7s.
Dick Walker said a few words about Tim and the game was preceded by a 30-second silence, three cheers for Tim and then 30-seconds’ applause. The size of the crowd reflected the esteem that we all had for Tim, one of the friendliest guys you could meet, who will be greatly missed.
Tim’s parents would like to let everyone know how much they appreciate the support from the club and that yesterday’s tribute meant a lot to the family. They found it overwhelming to speak to so many people who had such happy memories of Tim and to know how much he was loved by his friends and team mates.
The men’s 7s won the game 2-0, with goals from Richard Hunt and Dave Haycock cheered enthusiastically by the crowd. More importantly, our thanks go to opponents Slough, who showed us a huge amount of respect, dignity and sportsmanship.
All of Oxford’s men’s and ladies’ teams remembered Tim yesterday at their matches by observing a silence before push-back and we are grateful to all the opposition clubs for their respect and support for this. In the past week, we have been touched by the outpouring of support from across the hockey community, with many clubs sending messages of condolence.