Club Vision & History


Braintree Hockey Club aspires to be one of the leading clubs in Essex for the playing and development of field hockey.

This will be built on strong, sustainable foundations through the development of
young players and a club renowned for its friendliness and pursuit of good


Braintree Men's Hockey Club was founded in 1903, with home matches played at Evegate Broad Road prior to moving to the Recreation Ground. There are no records available of the Braintree Ladies' Hockey Club, but in 1939 mixed matches were played with players selected from the Ladies' and Men's Clubs.

By 1954 the membership was sufficient to field two men’s elevens and the Ladies also fielded two teams in the 1960's. It was during this period that the Braintree Dolphins Festival and Touring Teams were founded.

The early seventies saw a rapid rise in the membership of the Men's Club and by 1974, the Men's Club had five teams. This rapid expansion resulted in pitch and changing facility shortages and by 1975 various sites were examined as potential grounds.

With the help of Tom Hunnable, who had been a loyal member for many years and also represented Essex, the present ground was purchased in 1981. The ground was levelled and drained in 1984/5, with the help of Braintree District Council and the Sports Council, and a second hand clubhouse was donated and erected during 1986/7. Three years later changing rooms were built.

During the whole of this period both Men's and Ladies' Clubs gradually amalgamated and became Braintree Hockey Club.

After 1987/8, when Braintree under 14's became Essex Champions, the Club saw a meteoric rise in junior members. Of approximately 150 junior players during the 1994/5 season, 50 (including 4 Captains) represented Essex, 12 with 1 Captain represented the East of England and 2 with 1 Captain played for England. Braintree Hockey Club was regarded as one of the most successful clubs in the country at junior level.

During 1995 it was decided that the Club should apply to the Sports Lottery Fund for the installation of an All Weather Pitch. The Club had to wait until April 1996 to hear of its success. Olympic Hockey player Nicky Thompson formally opened the Pitch on November 4th 1996.

Following the success of the nineties, the turn of the century proved less successful for Braintree Hockey Club, with a number of players moving to bigger clubs in Essex. However, it remained the starting point for a number of players who went on to represent their countries.

Success still came to Braintree in 2006/7 with both first teams being promoted; however, disappointment followed in 2008/09, when all Men’s teams and the Ladies 1st team got relegated. The club knew it had to radically change or die as a serious Hockey club. In 2009 Braintree Hockey Club ceased to exist and was joined by Dunmow Hockey Club. A new chapter was started at the Four Releet, as Phoenix Hockey Club.

In 2014 the carpet was replaced with an all weather pitch and planning started for a new clubhouse.

Season 2015/16 saw an improved structure for the development through the ranks of our Junior players from Blue Hornets by using Men's 3 and Ladies 3 teams as Academy teams.

At the AGM in 2016 it was agreed to change the name of the club to Braintree Hockey Club, giving a clearer indication where we play, therefore the junior section become Braintree Blue Hornets. Decisions were also made to pursue CASC (Community Amateur Sports Club) status and re-organise the club accordingly.

On 1 May 2017 the Braintree Hockey Club came under Braintree Hockey Club Ltd. This changed a history going back to 1990's of where there was a club and a company ltd by shares to maintain and run the facilities, now it is one body and the company is Ltd by guarantee. The structure and rules (which become by-laws to the articles of association) had to be updated to make this club fit for going forward.