Stevenage hockey player breaks Guinness World Record at the age of 80
- Credit: Carl Schulze
Hockey player Anne Graves is celebrating after reclaiming her proud record as the oldest female in the world to play the game.
Anne, who is a member of Stevenage Hockey Club, has waited for more than a year to have her Guinness World Record attempt verified, but it has been worth the wait.
Having played a full match aged 80 years and nine days on March 14 last year, Anne has reclaimed the title from Australian Marie Larsen.
Anne – who moved to Stevenage when she married in 1958 – first broke the Guinness World Record in 2009, and again in 2011, but Marie snatched the title in 2014 at the age of 79 years and 311 days.
Anne has been playing for the Stevenage club since she was 16 – she joined the day after she left school in 1951 – and took up the sport when she was just 10.
It was Anne’s team members who encouraged her to attempt the record again and, to be eligible, she played regularly over the 2014/15 season.
“On a Saturday morning, in the cold weather, it was quite an effort to turn up,” she remembers. “But I think the team was very good to put up with me, because I’m not as swift as I was.”
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When the Comet broke the news to Anne, now 81, that she had officially reclaimed the record, she said: “I’m very pleased and a bit shocked. Everyone at the club has been so kind and made me feel so welcome.”
Anne – pictured right, and in action during the record-setting game on the left – has since moved to Yorkshire in October to live closer to family, but has already returned to Stevenage Hockey Club for the President’s Day and to help celebrate the club’s 70th anniversary.
She says she tries to keep as active as she can, walking two to three miles every day with her dogs, and intends to return to Stevenage to play in next year’s tournaments.