One-liners from Peter would lift my gloom
COACHING can be pretty stressful stuff at times. Between the frustrations provided by your own players, the opposition and the umpires, the heavy, dark clouds can quickly draw in over you, even heavier than the ones the middle of winter are already providing.
For me, in 12 or so seasons of Premier League hockey, there was one wonderful voice of sense and reason that we’ve recently lost who invariably seemed to pop up on the side line at just the right time with either his camera or voice recorder. Peter Savage was everything our sport should be proud of.
He was knowledgeable and passionate about the game, incredibly supportive and always looking to listen and share ideas.
And yet, despite his own considerable knowledge, Peter would never bombard you with theories or opinion but instead just leave you with a one-line pearl that could resonate with you for weeks.
In my last season in the Premier League, it became my preferred habit when I needed a deep breath to wander down and have a chat to Peter if he was there.
He’d obviously picked up on this additional role of providing a 30-second counselling service and it gave me a real insight into just how clever he was.
No matter how I tried I could never guess what he would say and yet inevitably it would be spot on and somehow always clear away the gloom. So, thanks not only for that Peter but for everything you did in your lifetime of hockey. You will be sorely missed but always remembered. Todd Williams is a former Australian international, the hockey professional at Magdalen College School in Oxford and a Premier League coach for over 12 seasons with Hampstead and Westminster HC, Slough Ladies HC and, most recently, four seasons with Surbiton HC.