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Vale Brian Glencross 1941-2022

Published Fri 30 Dec 2022

Hockey Australia is mourning the passing of a great of hockey in Australia, Brian Glencross OAM.

A triple Olympian as a player, an Olympic Games gold medal winning coach, Hockey Australia Hall of Fame inductee and Life Member, the magnitude of Brian’s contribution and impact on Australian hockey over decades was enormous.

Born in Narrogin in the wheatbelt of Western Australia, Brian became the 190th player to represent Australia and went on to play in three Olympic Games, winning a silver (1968) and bronze (1964) medal. He made 93 appearances for Australia, scoring 37 goals in a playing career that spanned 11 years.

A talented and courageous full-back, Brian made his international debut for Australia in Melbourne on 19 September 1964 against Pakistan. His decade in the national team and two decades playing for WA, many years as captain of both, was followed by over a decade as coach of Australia’s national women’s team, the Hockeyroos.

Brian coached the Hockeyroos at three Olympic Games, including the gold medal in Seoul 1988. He was also in charge of the team at four World Cups and three Champions Trophies.

In his role as coach of the women’s high performance program, Brian regularly travelled to all parts of the country conducting coaching seminars and clinics with an emphasis on the developing potential and talented players.

Under his guidance, the Hockeyroos had outstanding results. In 1981 the team won gold in the America’s Cup and in 1983 they won a World Cup bronze medal. In the first Women’s Champions Trophy in 1987, Australia won silver before achieving the pinnacle in 1988, an Olympic gold medal.

The Hockeyroos went on to win silver at the 1990 World Cup, which was followed by Brian being awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his services to hockey. A year later he was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Among his other honours were induction to the WA Hall of Champions (1996), an Australian Sports Medal (2000) and Centenary Medal (2001). He was one of the inaugural inductees into the Hockey Australia Hall of Fame in 2008 and was awarded Hockey Australia Life Membership in 2020.

Hockey Australia Legend and fellow Western Australian Ric Charlesworth AO provided a quality insight into Brian’s impact on the sport.

“A terrific competitor, superbly disciplined and skilled, Brian was the first to really take preparation and training to a professional level. Totally absorbed in the game he loved so much and to which he gave so much, he was the consummate team player and a reliable and trusted colleague. He worked with me during the 90s as High Performance Manager for the Hockeyroos and played a pivotal role in ensuring the team’s success was extended into the Atlanta and Sydney games. I know of few personalities in the game who have contributed more than Brian over many decades…he loved the game and he worked hard to make his teammates better and help those he coached to realise their potential. Truly a hockey great.”

Brian was quoted as saying when notified of his Life Membership, “Hockey has given me a lifetime of opportunities. Reaching the pinnacle in the sport, both playing and coaching, opened doors for me and enabled me to achieve my goals, for which I am most grateful.”

Hockey in Australia is grateful for the unwavering dedication, excellence, leadership, humility and time Brian gave to the betterment of the sport.

Hockey Australia sends its condolences to Brian’s wife Judy, his family, former teammates, and everyone who had the pleasure of associating with him.