Faces of Tamworth: Michael York's place in hockey history

MICHAEL York holds a special place in Tamworth’s rich sporting history.

One of our favourite hockey sons, the former Kookaburras captain will be forever etched as one of the best to wear the green and gold.

Back in 2015, York joined some illustrious company when he was inducted into the Hockey Australia Hall of Fame.

It was the latest of a long list of accomplishments for the brilliant defender, whose deeds on the field had seen him previously inducted into the ACT and NSW Sporting Halls of Fame.

“It was really very exciting,” York said at the time.

“They put together a pretty good event.”

He said he was aware of the Hall of Fame, knew it was something that existed, but still the phone call informing him that he was to be one of the three newest names to be added was a call “out of the blue”.

“I thought, that’s great. Subsequently I found out it meant a trip to Perth,” he said.

He extended his trip a couple of days to catch up with a few hockey colleagues.

Renowned for his brilliant tackling skills and accurate passing, York put it up there with one of the highlights of a career that spanned four Olympics including a home Olympics in Sydney in 2000 and earned him 281 caps.

“It’s certainly a great honour to make it,” he said.

“I know some of the people that are on it.

“Lots of players have achieved great things, and to be considered, as they said on the night, to be the best of the best is a huge honour.”

York first started playing hockey when he was seven.

“I can remember playing in the U7s and standing up the back and watching the play up the other end of the field,” he recalled.

He said one of the things he loved about it was being part of a team.

Another was the pace.

“I just loved the fast-paced nature of the game and it is even faster these days,” he said.

He still has an avid interest in the sport and only last year watched children Edward and Pheobe represent ACT at the Pacific School Games in Adelaide.

“I was a long time playing and now that my children are playing I feel like I’ve come full circle,” he commented back in 2015.

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