Hockey stalwart still going strong

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
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Guest speaker Mitchell Johnston, City of Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington, Albany Veteran Sportsperson of the Year winner Paul Murray and National Lifestyle Villages' Simon Bairstow.
Camera IconGuest speaker Mitchell Johnston, City of Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington, Albany Veteran Sportsperson of the Year winner Paul Murray and National Lifestyle Villages' Simon Bairstow. Credit: Laurie Benson

Passionate hockey stalwart Paul Murray has proved you’re never too old to represent your country, his efforts for Australia helping him win the 2018 Albany Veteran Sportsperson of the Year Award.

Murray’s major achievement on the hockey field came when representing Australia at the Masters World Cup in Spain, his over-60s side finishing fifth before he was judged the most valuable player for the tournament for the Aussies.

He played for both Australia and WA in a sensational 2018 and combined that with playing regularly for both a team locally and in Perth.

Having played hockey on and off since he was 10, Murray said the recognition as Albany’s best veteran sportsperson was always an honour.

“It is always nice to get any recognition,” Murray said.

“I played in four competitions last year and it’s always a good standard the international hockey.

“We lost one game by one goal and finished fifth at the World Cup, we were out of medal contention after losing that first crossover.

“The fact I can still play, the camaraderie gets you in even at local level and the social aspect are the reasons I still love hockey and of course the games are very competitive.”

The 61-year-old was set to captain Australia’s over-60s team to play in a Tran-Tasman tournament recently but a broken bone in his foot forced him to withdraw. “I broke a bone in my foot and missed the tournament,” he said.

“I’ll be another couple of weeks in a moonboot and, having been injured, I do really miss playing.

“The national titles are in Bunbury in October and that’s selection for the next World Cup side so that’s on my radar.”

Murray plays locally for Spencer Park Vets in the men’s B-grade competition and also plays for North Coast Raiders in Perth’s metro over-50s competition.

He won the National Lifestyle Villages- sponsored veterans category from other finalists including Jo Lucas (surf lifesaving), Dermot Buckley (triathlon) and Brenda Painter (athletics).

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