Chelmsford Hockey Club is delighted to announce that today, 6th December, 2023, marks the FIFTIETH anniversary of the day that club umpire and Vice-president, Robert Nourse, first umpired a hockey match. Since that fateful day, “Noursey” (he prefers “Norris”) has not put down his whistle!
Although he never played the game, a fact of which he is constantly reminded, “Noursey” started his career in Hertfordshire, with Blueharts and Letchworth hockey clubs, becoming a level 3 umpire in 1979, and soon progressed to become a level 1 umpire with Hertfordshire County Hockey Umpires Association. As well as being a Vice-president of Chelmsford Hockey Club, he is also a Vice-president of both Blueharts and Letchworth hockey clubs.
Moving to Chelmsford in 1984, with long-suffering wife, Liz, saw the start of a long association with Chelmsford Hockey Club that continues to this day, although we soon started to see less of him as he was appointed to the National League Panel in the 1987/88 season and umpired at that level, while travelling all over the country, until 1993.
From 1993 “Noursey” undertook East League Premier Division appointments, and became one of a small group of umpires who would regularly reunite in the bar at Chelmer Park “on their way home” on a Saturday evening after umpiring in different parts of the region, before moving to the Essex Premier list in 2004. As many of you know, he continues to regularly officiate Chelmsford club matches.
“Noursey” has not restricted his volunteering to officiating. Over the years he has played an active role in many different aspects of Chelmsford Hockey Club and Chelmsford Sports Club and has seen sons, Andy and Richard, progress through the club playing ranks. He has undertaken a number of roles within our club junior hockey and junior tours to Zevenbergen, while also acting as Whisky Night organiser and chef, club bar secretary and Sports Club Committee member to this day. He was appointed a Chelmsford HC Vice-president, in recognition of his service to the club, in 2023.
All at Chelmsford Hockey Club would like to offer congratulations on reaching this landmark anniversary and a huge thank you for putting up with us all on the pitch!
Finally, “Noursey”, it’s never too late to pick up a stick…