For most people, nearing the age of 60 normally means their international sporting career is merely a figment of the past. For local hockey player Steve Seymour however, it’s only just beginning.It has been a remarkable year for Lincolnshire born Seymour. He made his international debut for the England over 60s full hockey team early in the year, before going on to play an inspirational role in them being crowned champions at the European Finals in Antwerp.
He has also been nominated for Veteran Sportsperson of the Year at the upcoming Lincolnshire Sports Awards, on Thursday, 7th November.
In a year brimming with sporting accolades for Seymour at the noteworthy age of 59, he was extremely modest in selecting his international debut as his high point. He said:
“I couldn’t believe I’d been selected for England until I actually got on to the pitch to play. It was fantastic and an unbelievable feeling.”
“It was my first time playing for England and in a way that’s what makes it special for me.
“I’m not a very confident person really so as far as hockey is concerned, it’s done me a lot of good.”
Seymour has played hockey for 45 years, since the age of 15. In that time he has played for many teams including Spalding and currently Horncastle, yet this year is the first time he’s ever represented his country. He plays primarily on the left of midfield but can also operate on the left of defence.
He was a key figure as England won the European Finals this year, scoring two goals throughout the tournament. He said:
“We won every game along the way. We defeated Italy, Wales, Belgium, Germany and Holland. I scored against Wales where we won 1-0 and against Belgium where we won 7-0—it was an unbelievable feeling.”
Despite playing hockey for 45 years, admirably he still has no plans to retire anytime soon. He said:
“I’m going to play until I have to stop. I keep saying I’ll have one more season but this season has given me a huge boost to keep me going.”
“I play for Horncastle first team and play with a lot of young people. I’m still enjoying it and still feel fairly fit so as long as I feel like that, I’m going to keep going.”
One of Seymour’s ex team mates at Horncastle referred to him as a ‘Freak of Nature’, which the junior members have picked up. After bursting into laughter, Seymour explained he takes the comment as a compliment. He said:
“To be honest I’m quite proud of that. One thing that I am is I’m quite quick for my age—especially over 5-10 meters.”
Alongside triathlon athlete Karen Hames, 53, and motorcyclist Tim Greig, 46, Seymour has also been nominated for Veteran Sportsperson of the Year at the upcoming Lincolnshire Sports Awards 2013.
The Lincolnshire Sports Awards is a ceremony where the best local athletes from all sports are recognised for their achievements in the past year.
Again, with great modesty, Seymour explained the circumstances behind his nomination. He said:
“It was a total surprise to be nominated—my wife did it without telling me. I had no idea until the shortlist came through to the house.”
“I’ve got to say, like when I pulled on the England shirt for the first time and every time since, I was very proud.”
After a sporting year which will live long in the memory of Steve Seymour and everybody who knows him, it will come as no surprise to anyone if he walks away with the award on Thursday night.Tweet