The former Guardian and Observer journalist Patrick Rowley has been awarded a British Empire Medal for services to hockey after a lifetime covering and promoting the sport.
Rowley, who was previously honoured by the International Sports Press Association as the only known journalist to cover both the 1948 and 2012 London Olympic Games, was presented with the medal at a ceremony held at the Tower of London on Friday 4 November. He has been involved in hockey for more than 70 years as a player, coach, journalist and commentator and helped to create the National Hockey Museum.
“My life has been dedicated to raising the profile of hockey. To be honoured for what I saw as a passion rather than a job, is beyond my wildest expectations,” he said.
“It has always been my ambition, to encourage the development of hockey worldwide from grassroots to master’s levels. Part of my personal dream was fulfilled when Great Britain’s women’s team dramatically won the Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro this summer. I am truly humbled by this honour, when really all I have done is promote a sport I love.”
Now aged 82, Rowley was employed for more than 50 years by the Guardian in several capacities, as well as being deputy sports editor of the Observer. He also appears to hold the record of having covered 14 summer Olympics.
“It was a very proud day for my father, for his family and ultimately for the sport of hockey, which is finally being recognised as a sport that makes a valuable contribution to bringing together like-minded people globally,” added Rowley’s daughter, Alison Heeks. “My father has worked tirelessly to promote the sport and this honour of a British Empire Medal, is truly a fitting tribute to his lifetime of dedication.”