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Women’s hockey honours Hérault resident

LanguedocLiving, Jul 26

Hérault resident Anne Lunt is to be honoured this weekend at the Women’s Hockey World Cup as one of the internationals who played for England when the host country last lifted the title in 1975.

Anne, who lives in St Pons de Mauchiens, will be joining 13 of the 14 players from the England squad – one flying in from Australia – at an England Hockey reunion dinner in London on Saturday night.

The former players are expected to be introduced to the crowd on Sunday at the England v Ireland qualifying group match at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Anne, who originally comes from Warrington, played left-back for England in a four-year international career that included a tour of Canada, matches at Wembley before sell-out crowds and the Women’s Hockey World Cup which was played in Scotland.

Anne said England’s 2-0 defeat of Wales in the final at Edinburgh’s Meadowbank Sports Centre was one of her most cherished memories but the pinnacle of her career was playing in front of a 75,000 crowd at Wembley.

“I played against New Zealand, Scotland and Wales. There is nothing quite like having 75,000 screaming schoolgirls cheering you at Wembley. It was so noisy you had to have someone sitting on the line that could see when the umpire was blowing her whistle and sounded a klaxon because you couldn’t hear the umpire’s whistle.”

Anne started playing hockey at 11 and progressed from school and local club level to playing for her county Lancashire and the north of England in 1970, then on to England B in 1973 and finally the England first team in 1974.

Her elevation to the top level was due in large part to being moved from centre-forward to left-back. “Lancashire had a very good centre-forward so they converted me to a left-back. That was when my career took off.”

Her international career was cut short at 31 when she contracted thrombosis in her calf but she continued to play club hockey until she was 40 and still keeps fit playing tennis at least twice a week at Caux and St Pons de Mauchiens.

Anne also marked another milestone this month with her and husband Tony’s 50th wedding anniversary, celebrated with aperos and dozens of friends at their St Pons home.

Images are Anne Lunt today, and the winning England 1975 Women's Hockey World Cup squad. Anne Lunt is back row, third in from left to right.

 

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