Dorothy Steel

Miss Dorothy Dyne Steel

Born: 1884
Died: 1965
Inducted: 2011

Author: Lt Col Leahy

D.D, as she was always known, dominated the game between the two world wars, and was perhaps the first to prove that women could play on equal terms with men.

In the British Open Championship she competed in ten finals, winning four times, and also collected five Doubles Championships and seven Mixed Doubles Championships, in both cases with three different partners.

D.D played in the President’s Cup for 17 consecutive years, recording six wins, and was also involved in a quadruple tie for first place. She won the Women’s Championship 15 times between the two world wars. 

Unsurprisingly, she was a member of three of the four MacRobertson Shield teams in this period, missing only the trip to Australia in 1935 for family reasons.

She was probably the most dominant player between the two wars of either sex.

George Latham

Hall of Fame
George Frederick Latham

Born: 1941
Died: 2010
Inducted: 2012

George Latham was a devotee of croquet and a stalwart of the sport in Victoria and Australia as a player, coach, administrator, innovator and visionary.

George, who was an accomplished sportsman in other areas including hockey, cricket, Australian football, orienteering and marathon running, came to croquet in 1975 when he joined the Essendon (Victoria) club, of which he was later made a Life Member.

As a player, George developed to the point that he held:
. many Victorian titles and team memberships from 1984-2000
. Australian Men's Singles Championship in 1983,1984,1987, 1988, and 1990;
. Australian Open Singles Championship title in 1984 and 1985;
. Australian Open Doubles Championship in 1987, 1988, 1990 and 1991
. Australian Golf Croquet Open Singles Championship in 2002;
. Australian Golf Croquet Handicap Doubles Championship in 2000;
. the British Bronze Medal in 1984 and the Silver Medal in 1986; and
. represented Australia in the MacRobertson Shield in 1986 and 1990, at the WCF World Championships 1989 and 1990, and as a  member of the 1991 Trans-Tasman Team.
George was the coach of the 1996, 2003 and 2006 MacRobertson Shield teams, coached the Victorian teams during 2000-2004 and was appointed National Development Squad Coach 2000-06.  At his death, he was the Victorian Director of Coaching and had just completed sessions to reaccredit coaches in eastern Victoria.

George also contributed to the sport as a referee and as an Australian selector in 1992, 1993 and 2000-2004, and as a Victorian selector 2008-2009.

As an administrator, George had a fine record, being:
. President of Essendon Croquet Club in 1984-85 and 2006-07, as well as periods as Secretary, Club Captain, Club Coach, Handicapper and Greenkeeper;
. Secretary of Brunswick Croquet Club 1993-96, President 1997-99
. Senior Vice-President of Victorian Croquet Association 1996-1998, President 1998-2001 and Secretary 2004-2010;
. Vice-President of the Australian Croquet Association in  2001-04

George developed Aussie Croquet as a simplified form of the game for schools and instigated the Croquet Victoria schools program and the Croquet Victoria Schools Championships.

George's vision made him the driving force behind the sale of the previous Croquet Victoria headquarters at Warleigh Grove, Brighton and the construction and development of the current Victorian Croquet Centre with its 12 courts at Cairnlea.

His epitaph, as voiced by his widow, Marion, is "croquet nut".

Bernard Neal

Hall of Fame
Bernard George Neal

Born: 29 March 1922
Died: 26 March 2016
Inducted: 2012

Bernard Neal joined the Croquet Association (England) in 1963.  In just four years he had scaled the heights by being selected for the Surrey Cup (the second ‘Eight’ at that time) in 1965, the first Chairman’s Salver in 1966 and the President’s Cup in 1967 – an event in which he eventually played eleven times.  He won the Men’s Championship in 1967, the Open Championship twice, in 1972 and 1973, the Ranelagh Gold Cup at Roehampton on three occasions, the Hurlingham Cup twice and the Veterans.  He also represented Great Britain in three MacRobertson Shield series - in 1969, 1974 and 1979.

But his prowess on the croquet court was more than matched by his contributions to the game off it.  He was elected to the CA Council in 1966 and in the following year he was appointed Chairman of the Publicity Committee.  In those days words like ‘development’ and ‘coaching’ were not part of the CA’s vocabulary – although ‘survival’ was.  Within a year Bernard made sure that they became central to the CA’s discussions: a coaching scheme was mooted and he explored the possibilities of obtaining government funding (for both the CA and its clubs).  The latter bore fruit almost immediately in the form of a grant towards the costs of the 1969 Test Tour to Australia.  He then led discussions with the Central Council for Physical Recreation and the newly-formed Sports Council which resulted in the first of the latter’s annual grants to the CA, eventually spanning twenty-eight years and making a huge contribution to the CA’s finances and activity.  The first grant aid, in 1970, was for both administration and development: it enabled the CA to give more than a pittance of an honorarium to its Secretary, but more significantly it provided financial support for the CA to initiate a development programme.  The scheme was initially a modest affair but was not without its detractors, who feared radical change in the ethos of the game.  (This even caused some notoriety in the national press and led to the forced resignation of the Gazette Editor!).  Seminars for coaches were held and two volunteers, Barbara Meachem and Liz Neal, acted as development officers in the North and South respectively.  Armed only with some basic croquet equipment and publicity materials, they were expected to support existing weak clubs, explore the potential for new clubs and even to try to set up clubs where circumstances seemed favourable.  The momentum they generated eventually led to the appointment of Chris Hudson as the CA’s National Development Officer and the establishment of the CA’s Coaching and Development Committees which now manage comprehensive schemes to help and support both individual players and clubs, all funded from the CA’s own resources.

Bernard’s balanced judgement and tact made him the obvious choice to replace Dudley Hamilton-Miller as Manager of the 1969 Test Team when the latter had to withdraw, literally at the last minute, due to ill-health.  He won universal praise from the Australians and New Zealanders during the tour and, since then, he became a highly respected unofficial ambassador for the CA on the world Croquet stage.  His advice and guidance were key elements in the CA’s leading role in the period preceding the establishment of the World Croquet Federation in 1989, and Bernard’s influence was significant in the CA hosting several World Championships. About 1990 Bernard and Liz went to Japan and managed to persuade the Japanese to take up Association Croquet.

Following three years as Publicity Chairman, Bernard was elected Vice-Chairman of Council from 1970 to 1972 and Chairman from 1972 to 1974, achieving the unique distinction of winning the Open Championship in both his years at the helm.  He then served on numerous Council committees, many as chairman.  When he was Chairman of the Laws Committee he wrote ‘The Basic Laws’ – just one example of his tireless efforts to improve the CA’s provision for its members.

He often acted in a discreet, but effective, way to help the Association. Thus in 2001-2, when the CA was searching for a new location for its headquarters, Cheltenham, his home club, became one of the three contenders – Bernard had worked his magic!  Whilst the outcome was in doubt Bernard, of course, took a back seat in Council discussions, but when the decision to move to Cheltenham had been made, he (with other Cheltenham club members) did their utmost to make the transition as smooth, and the welcome as warm, as possible.  In 2004, Bernard was the obvious and unanimous choice to succeed John Solomon as the President of the Croquet Association, a position he decided to relinquish at the 2009 AGM.

It might be thought that Bernard had little time for anything but Croquet.  But he had distinguished professional and sporting careers in the world beyond, and brought benefits from both to our more modest domain.  As an internationally respected civil engineer, he was instrumental in making the CA see the need for, and the benefits arising from, standard specifications for croquet equipment.  He led from the front in devising ball-testing equipment and chairing the Equipment Committee which has now established a set of standards recognised worldwide and tests new equipment on a regular basis.

Bernard was a highly competitive county tennis player. His prowess included being Captain of Lawn Tennis at Cambridge University around 1945 and that offered him membership of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club where he became long-standing member, serving on its main committee for many years and winning more Wimbledon (croquet) championship titles (38) than any other person – a good pub quiz question!  He was one of a small group of members who effectively resurrected croquet at Wimbledon in the post-war era, and it is largely due to Bernard’s influence that it now has a much closer relationship with the CA.  The Croquet Exhibition at Wimbledon during the CA’s centenary year, the gift of the Wimbledon Cup for the Association Croquet World Championship, and several notable CA functions held at Wimbledon would never have happened but for his behind-the-scenes work.

Bernard preferred quiet diplomacy and was modest about his achievements.  This citation is thus inevitably deficient in not recognising many of the benefits he brought to Croquet, particularly at a personal level.  Thus it is impossible to chronicle how generous and supportive he, and Liz, were to many (especially younger) players - they were even known to accommodate whole test teams on occasions!  But what has been noted here gives ample evidence that the CA, and the whole croquet world, owe an enormous debt of gratitude to someone who worked ceaselessly for Croquet for well over forty years and who, by setting the highest standards in all that he did, was a worthy recipient of the prestigious CA Council Medal.

November 2016 Newsletter

WCF November 2016 Newsletter

The newsletter provides a summary for WCF Members of what the Management Committee has been doing recently and what is on the agenda in the near future.  Comments are always very welcome.  It is also made available to all on the WCF web-site and via the Nottingham list and other croquet bulletin boards.

Council debates and decisions

The new draft of the WCF Statutes was published to Members in October as a consultation, Topic 54.  Comments were received from Scotland and New Zealand and an amended version has just been published to Members for approval as Topic 57 with a Closing Date of Christmas Day, 25 December 2016, and a planned adoption date of 1 January 2017.

The new version will be Version 12.  In addition to improving the drafting and organisation of the various sections and removing text dealing with general meetings (because the Council takes all its decisions through e-mail voting), the terms of reference of the WCF Golf Croquet Rules Committee have been updated.  The only substantive change is the establishment of a WCF Association Croquet Laws Committee which, with the agreement of the ACA, CA, CNZ and USCA, will replace the International Laws Committee from 1 January 2017 with the same general terms of reference as the WCF GCRC.

The Ramsis Cup was presented in 2008 as a trophy for Test Matches between Egypt and the Rest of the World.  It has been held twice with the Rest of the World emerging as narrow victors on each occasion.  The establishment of the Golf Croquet World Team Championship has filled the space that the Ramsis Cup occupied and Members were consulted in Topic 55 about the future role of the event and whether it should be adopted as a WCF Event.  The responses were evenly balanced and the question will be re-addressed after the 2017 GCWC.

Martin French was co-opted to the office of WCF Treasurer with effect from 1 July 2016 following Gabrielle Higgins’ decision to retire because of work pressures.  The MC would like to pay tribute to Gabrielle for her very valuable contribution to the work of the MC since she took on the role in 2013.  Martin’s role is required to be confirmed by election and voting closed today on Topic 56 with 51 votes in favour and none against.  His term of office expires on 31 December 2020.

Christian Carter has offered to stand again as the WCF Independent Examiner and Members have been asked to vote on his election for 2017 under Topic 58 which also closes on Christmas Day.

What happened in October and November?

The focus was on completing the work on the new Statutes and Finance Regulations and on the fourth-quarter business of reporting formally to Members on the financial and operational activities of the MC.  The Statutes require the MC to publish the accounts for the previous year and an Annual Report, which is sent out in late December to capture as much of the current year’s activities as possible.  Members are also required to consider and, if thought fit, approve the Budget and Business Plan for the following year.

Forthcoming WCF championships

2017 Golf Croquet World Championship and Under 21 GC World Championship

Both events will be held at the Victorian Croquet Association headquarters at Cairnlea, in the western suburbs of Melbourne.  The Under 21 GCWC will run from Saturday, 18 to Wednesday 22 February 2017 and the Qualifying Tournament from Monday, 20 to Wednesday, 22 February 2017.  The main event will begin on Saturday, 25 February 2017 and end on Sunday, 5 March 2017.

2017 Association Croquet World Team Championship

Tier 1, the MacRobertson Shield, will be held at Mission Hills Country Club, Palm Springs, California from Monday, 17 April 2017 to Friday, 4 May 2017.

Tiers 2.1, Tiers 2.2 and 3 will be held at Sussex County Croquet Club in England from Monday, 17 to Saturday, 22 July 2017.  Entries close on Sunday, January 2017.

2018 Association Croquet World Championship

The event will be held in Wellington, New Zealand in early 2018, provisionally from Saturday, 27 January 2018 to Sunday, 4 February 2018.

Membership enquiries

None other than the proposed Greek Croquet Association.

MC Topics recently completed or closed

MC 346:          WCF Statutes revision project

MC 348:          WCF trophies – repairs and flight box

MC 357:          Election of Treasurer

MC Topics open, pending or under administration on 30 November 2016

MC 318:          2017 GCWC and Under 21 GCWC

MC 324:          2017 AC World Team Championship

MC 331:          International Laws Committee

MC 352:          10-year World Championship schedule

MC 353:          Golf Croquet Ranking Review Working Group

MC 354:          2018 Association Croquet World Championship

MC 355:          New signatories for WCF accounts

MC 356:          Finance Regulation amendments

MC 358:          Formal Q4 business.

Outlook for December

The main issues will be the completion of the remaining Q4 formal business tasks and proposing updated Statutes and Finance Regulations to Members.

Stephen Mulliner


4 December 2016

Patrick Cotter

Hall of Fame
Edmond Patrick Charles Cotter

Born: 1905
Died: 1995
Inducted: 2009

Pat Cotter (front row, second from right) in the 1963 MacRobertson Shield Test Series

Pat Cotter graduated from Trinity College, Dublin with a degree in classics and soon joined the teaching staff at St. Paul’s school, Hammersmith, teaching Latin and Greek. .  During the second World War he was in the R.A.F. in the Intelligence division with the rank of Squadron Leader.  After the war he returned to St. Paul’s as head of classics where he remained until his retirement.

He was an international bridge player, playing regularly at Crockfords and the Devonshire and in 1938 won the World Bridge Championship.  He wrote a weekly article on bridge for the Financial Times and a monthly one for Country Life until shortly before his death. He was also a regular compiler of crosswords for the Times.

Pat Cotter was a scratch golfer and in 1947 was due to play in a competition at the Roehampton club but had sprained his ankle and wandered over to the croquet courts.  He had played a little croquet at university and after a little practice he entered a competition and his handicap was soon down to scratch. Remarkably in 1949, only having played for 2 years he was invited to play in the Presidents Cup and won it, and  went  on to win it another 3 times in the next 4 years. Thus he was the winner on 4 of his first 5 years and in 21 years won it 6 times and was runner-up 5 times.

 He was regarded by Maurice Reckitt as one of the Big Three with Hicks and Solomon and was captain of the winning Great Britain team for the MacRobertson Trophy in England in 1956 and in New Zealand in 1963.  Surprisingly his number of wins in other major events was relatively few, winning the Open Singles only 3 times between 1955 and 1962, 4 Men’s titles between 1952 and 1969, and 2 Mixed doubles, though he did not play in this event very often.   He won the Open Doubles 9 times with John Solomon.

As a player he was extremely accurate with a very light touch and played with a mallet of only 2 lbs 12 ozs, which allowed him to play superb stop shots.  His rushes and split shots were very accurate. He was not a particularly good long shot, probably because he rarely hit the ball hard and even on good courts the ball would veer off line.  He was an excellent tactician and would rarely take a risky shot, preferring to bide his time until his opponent presented him with an opportunity.  He adopted the ploy of peeling his partner ball through the first hoop in his first break, thereby enabling him in his next turn to send the forward ball straight to hoop 3 ready for the triple peel which then became relatively easy and this was soon adopted by many of the better players.  His ball control on hoop running was such that he invariably achieved the rush to wherever he wanted.  He probably created a world record at the time by finishing a best of three doubles in less than one and a half hours, including a stop for morning tea, in a test match at Whangarei in 1963 with his partner Solomon.

He was also instrumental in making relationships between players much more relaxed as he called them by their first names instead of the formal Mr., Mrs, or Miss which was the norm at that time.  His book “Tackle Croquet This Way” was published by Stanley Paul in 1960 in their series on various sports and is a very concise and readable explanation of the basics of the game.

2017 GCWC player information

The following are the principal details in the Event Bid relevant to the Players.


Headquarters: Victorian Croquet Centre, 65 Nobel Banks Drive, Cairnlea, Victoria 3023, tel: +61 3 8361 8887


The Block Stage will be held at the VCC and the following clubs.

Alexandra Croquet Club: Prince of Wales Park, Gillies Street North, Lake Gardens, Ballarat, Victoria 3355

Belmont Croquet Club:  161 Francis Street, Belmont Melways, Geelong, Victoria

Essendon Croquet Club: 34A Brewster Street, Essendon, Victoria 3040

Williamstown Croquet Club: 104 Victoria Street, Williamstown, Victoria 3016


Balls: Dawson International

Hoops: Atkins Quadway set to 1/32 inch (0.8mm) subject to WCF Sports Regulations paragraph 8.1

Lights: floodlighting is available at the VCC and Essendon but will only be used if absolutely necessary

Practice: available on Friday, 24 February 2017 (further details to follow)

Welcome Ceremony: 1730 on Friday, 24 February 2017 at the VCC



September 2016 Newsletter

WCF September 2016 Newsletter

The newsletter provides a summary for WCF Members of what the Management Committee has been doing recently and what is on the agenda in the near future.  Your comments are always very welcome.  It is also made available to all on the WCF web-site and via the Nottingham list and other croquet bulletin boards.

Council debates and decisions

There were none.

What happened in September?

The new draft of the WCF Statutes was finalised by the MC and has just been published to Members as WCF Topic 54 as a consultation with a Closing Date for comments of 6 November.  In addition to the deletion of provisions relating to general meetings, the opportunity has been taken to re-organise the Statutes to make them clearer and more accessible.  Assuming comments are received, a revised version will be published for formal approval by Council with the intention that Version 12 of the WCF Statutes will take effect on 1 January 2017.

The MC resolved to recommend to Council that the Ramsis Cup be formally adopted as a WCF GC team event.  The Ramsis Cup is a trophy which was presented in 2008 for a GC Test Match between Egypt and a Rest of the World team.  It has been held twice, in 2008 and 2016, and, on each occasion, the RoW team clinched a narrow 11-10 victory.  If adopted by the WCF, the plan would be to hold a Ramsis Cup Test Match immediately before each GCWC and GC WTC.  The recommendation has been put to Council as WCF Topic 55 with a Closing Date of 30 October 2016.

The Closing Date for the 2017 GCWC occurred on 25 September 2016.  A total of five Membership Places were returned with the result that the entry currently consists of the holders of 40 Ranking Places, two Wild Card Places, 27 Membership Places and five Replacement Ranking Places.  The Replacement Ranking List currently has 49 applicants.  Details may be found on the WCF website under World Championships.

Forthcoming WCF championships

2017 Golf Croquet World Championship and Under 21 GC World Championship

Both events will be held at the Victorian Croquet Association headquarters at Cairnlea, in the western suburbs of Melbourne.  The Under 21 will run from Saturday 18 to Wednesday 22 February 2017 and the Qualifying Tournament from Monday 20 to Wednesday 22 February 2017.  The main event will begin on Saturday 25 February 2017 and end on Sunday 5 March 2017.

2017 Association Croquet World Team Championship

Tier 1, the MacRobertson Shield, will be held at Mission Hills Country Club, Palm Springs, California from 18 April 2017 to 4 May 2017.

Tiers 2.1, Tiers 2.2 and 3 will be held at Sussex County Croquet Club in England from 17 to 22 July 2017.  The Invitation Date for the lower tiers is expected to be in October 2016.

Membership enquiries

The Corfu Club has confirmed its plan to establish a Greek Croquet Association and then apply to join the WCF as an Observer Member.

MC Topics recently completed or closed

There were none.

MC Topics open, pending or under administration on 30 September 2016

MC 291:          Appointment of GC Ranking Officer and Assistant Ranking Officers

MC 318:          2017 GCWC and Under 21 GCWC, February 2017

MC 324:          2017 AC World Team Championship, April 2017

MC 331:          International Laws Committee

MC 346:          WCF Statutes revision project

MC 348:          Wimbledon Cup – repairs and flight box

MC 352:          10-year World Championship schedule

MC 354:          2018 Association Croquet World Championship

MC 355:          Australian Perpetual (WCF Friends) account 

MC 356:          Finance Regulation amendments

MC 357:          Election of Treasurer

Outlook for October

Work will begin on the regular fourth quarter business of the WCF, such as presenting the 2015 Accounts, the 2016 Budget, the MC Report to Members and 2017 Business Plan.  The Formal Invitation for Tiers 2.1, 2.2 and 3 of the 2017 Association Croquet World Team Championship will be published this month.

Stephen Mulliner


3 October 2016

2017 GCWC entry list

2017 Golf Croquet World Championship

Entry List as at 18 February 2017

1   Wendy Dickson Australia
2   Greg Fletcher Australia
3   Barry Haydon Australia
4   Geoffrey Jamieson Australia
5   Peter Landrebe Australia
6   Chris McWhirter Australia
7   John van der Touw Australia
8   Alix Verge Australia
9   Hisham Abousbaa Egypt
10   Sherif Abousbaa Egypt
11   Nihal Ahmed Egypt
12   Mostafa Eissa Egypt
13   Ahmed El Mahdi Egypt
14   Hamy Erian Egypt
15   Salah Hassan Egypt
16   Khaled Kamal Egypt
17   Mohamed Karem Egypt
18   Tarek Mamdouh Egypt
19   Ahmed Nasr Egypt
20   Walid Wahban Egypt
21   Mohamed Walid Egypt
22   Hisham Yassin Egypt
23   John-Paul Moberly England
24   Stephen Mulliner England
25   John Christie New Zealand
26   Jenny Clarke New Zealand
27   George Coulter New Zealand
28   Mike Crashley New Zealand
29   Duncan Dixon New Zealand
30   Joshua Freeth New Zealand
31   Felix Webby New Zealand
32   Reg Bamford South Africa
33   Sherif Abdelwahab United States
34   Mohammad Kamal United States
35   David Walters Wales
36   Edward Wilson Australia
37   Peter Freer Australia
38   Lester Hughes Australia
39   Terry Hopkins Australia



  Anne Quinn Australia
41   Alison Sharpe Australia
42   Charles Sharpe Australia
43   Lawrie Simpson Australia
44   John Richardson Canada
45   Amr El Ibieri Egypt
46   Mohamed Nasr Egypt
47   Richard Brooks England
48   Kieran Murphy Ireland
49   Hamish McIntosh New Zealand
50   Hemi McLaren New Zealand
51   Roar Michalsen Norway
52   Manuel Marcos Spain
53   Joakim Norback Sweden
54   Arthur Graf Switzerland
55   Cheryl Bromley United States
56   Matt Griffith United States
57   Ian Burridge Wales
58   Kevin Beard Australia
59   John Levick Australia
60   Peter Nicholson Australia
61   Omar Fahmy Egypt
62   Hossam El-Bibani Egypt
63   Nadine El Menoufi Egypt
64   Maram Nabil Egypt
65   Khaled Tharwat Egypt
66   Evan Newell Ireland
67   Dennis Bulloch New Zealand
68   Lachlan Hughes New Zealand