Chris Birdseye – the first club captain

We are sorry to have to report that Christopher Birdseye (middle, back row above), one of our oldest vice-presidents, has died at the age of 81.

Chris was at Cranleigh between 1948 and 1953 and captained the 1st XI in his final year. A quick and skilful forward, he immediately joined the OCHC and became a regular in the 1st XI.

The club was struggling in terms of numbers and results – between the resumption after World War Two and 1964-65 the 1st XI never won more matches than they lost – but the appointment of Chris as captain in 1961-62 was later credited by The Cranleighan as being the turning point. He stood down at the end of the 1963-64 season and moved up to become the first Club Captain, a post he held until 1968-69 by which time he had almost stopped playing hockey in favour of golf. He represented the OCs in the Halford Hewitt as well as winning several society tournaments.

Chris was elected a vice-president in 1970. His father, Keith, played in the first OCHC game after the club was formed in 1928 and was himself a vice-president of the club.