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Mr Dick Laslett (1940-2021)

A message to our friends Canterbury Hockey Club, sending condolences for the death of CHC Legend Dick Laslett who was regularly seen too at The Marine Travel Ground as a friend to many of us.

The club released the statement below.

We are devastated to record the death of Dick Laslett on the 29th June 2021. Dick has shown incredible leadership in developing sports and community facilities over a period of 50 years. He has been a man of vision and foresight, an innovative, inspiring leader and an ambassador for many sporting and social enterprises.

Dick joined Canterbury Hockey Club at the age of 17, becoming 1st XI captain in 1962 until 1969. He progressed rapidly through club administration becoming Vice Chairman in 1972, Chairman for 10 years from 1977 and was made a Life Member in 1988. He served on the Kent Committee from 1977 for over 20 years. It was a great source of pride for club members that he was elected President of Kent County Hockey Club.

Throughout the 1970’s he led the development of Canterbury Hockey Club from a converted rubbish tip on land rented by the council, eventually identifying the present site at Polo Farm. He helped to fund its purchase and successfully sought grants and loans all the way through to project completion. He was a man of vision, instrumental in setting up one of the finest centres of mens, ladies and youth hockey in the country.

As well as this focus on hockey, Dick has been a leader in the development of Polo Farm Sports Club. He was a founder member and initiated the development of a local sports venue into one of the premier centres of sport in South East England, playing men’s, ladies and youth hockey, tennis, cricket, football and croquet. Throughout all this time he has attracted a large number of voluntary workers who have been inspired by his leadership. However challenging the job he showed persistence and determination to see the job through, however menial the task.

Dick has also demonstrated enormous service beyond the sports field. He established the Eastry Young Peoples Club, providing a social outlet for the growing number of young people in this community. He secured funding and was project manager throughout the building stage and continued as Chairman and youth club leader. He also obtained funding to establish a private nursery (Bubbles) in the village, to provide a much needed facility in a growing village which was attracting many young people.

The culmination of Dick’s contribution to so many of our lives was the well-deserved award of MBE in November 2009, for outstanding achievement and service to the community. It is an award which sums up Dick’s lifetime contribution perfectly.

Richard Goodenough