A lifetime dedicated to hockey, as well as contribution to education, has earned Armidale's Vernon Turner the prestigious Medal of the Order of Australia.
As a player, Turner reached great heights in the sport, but his greatest pride was in mentoring and developing the sport's up-and-coming superstars.
Born in 1924, Turner didn't start playing hockey until later in his teenage years when he began at Glebe Hockey Club.
He developed quickly as a player and rocketed up the ranks.
Turner played in the Glebe First Grade team from 1942 to 1957 and was part of 12 Sydney Hockey Association Premiership teams, including seven consecutive titles.
He was also the assistant treasurer, on the management committee and the club's vice-captain.
Turner played in the Sydney Senior Representative Men's team from 1944 to 1957 and in the NSW Senior Representative team from 1947 to 1955.
He captained the NSW team for six of those years and takes pride in having helped to develop many of his younger teammates, some of whom went on to play for Australia.
Turner was also a representative in the Australian Universities team in 1953.
But when asked what the highlight of his hockey career was, Turner highlighted his passion for developing players on and off the field.
"My desire was to have the boys develop as well as they could," he said.
"It was a joy for me to see them develop their skills."
His son, Joseph Turner, said he also placed a big emphasis on sportsmanship as well as mastering the basics of the sport.
"The stuff that strikes me about Dad, and always came through, was how he always talked about having to be a gentleman to play the game," he said.
"It didn't matter if you won or lost, as long as you were a good sportsman about it."
Turner highlighted three-time Olympian Pat Nilan as one of the best he'd taught.
"He came as a raw player - no idea of hockey - but I recognised the skills in him when he came down to Wentworth Park to sharpen his skills.
"I realised he had talent ... he just simply showed me he was capable of developing skills."
Turner took charge of the Glebe club's junior teams from 1949 to 1958.
Known as the "father of junior hockey at Glebe", he visited schools across the area and encouraged children to take up the sport.
At a time when families were too poor to buy hockey sticks and uniforms, Turner bought material for his sister to make shirts.
He collected broken hockey sticks and had them restored for children and families to play, charging them nothing to sign up.
While coaching, Turner discovered he had a love for teaching and earned a bachelor of arts (honours), a master's in education, then a master's in arts.
His focus was Asian studies, and he was the first teacher of Indonesian language in Australian schools and published several books.
He later taught at the Armidale College of Advanced Education and continued lecturing when it became the University of New England.
Turner brought his love for hockey with him to Armidale, playing and coaching with the Ex-Services Checkmates Hockey Club.
He played for NSW and Australia in the over 55s, 60s, 65s and 70s at various masters tournaments.
He retired from hockey when he was 84.