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Vale Dennis Kemp

Published Mon 20 Nov 2023

Hockey Australia is saddened to hear that one of Australia’s oldest surviving national team hockey players and Hall of Fame inductee Dennis Kemp has died at the age of 92.

The 136th player capped for Australia’s men’s hockey team, Dennis was first selected for his country in 1954 and went on to compete at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games.

Growing up in Western Australia, Dennis grew up playing Australian Rules Football before being introduced to hockey during his first year of high school.

All of Dennis’ club hockey was played at Perth Hockey Club, where he progressed from first division to representing WA at U18 and senior level before going on to play for Australia.

Dennis achieved the rare distinction of representing his state twice in the one year at U18 and senior level.

He made his Australian debut in a test match against New Zealand in Sydney in 1954 before being selected for the 1956 Olympics. The Kookaburras finished a credible fifth and incredibly, with blisters on his feet and no substitutions, Dennis played the second half of the play-off match against Great Britain in bare feet.

He was made a Life Member of Perth Hockey Club in 1964 and Floreat Park Ladies Hockey Club, where he was a coach and served time as President, in 1978. Dennis retired from club hockey in 1980.

He received an Australian Sport Medal for services to hockey in 2000. At the age of 69, he also ran a one kilometre stretch in the Perth suburb of Perry Lakes carrying the Olympic torch prior to the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

Hockey Australia expresses its condolences to Dennis’ wife Kay, his family and friends on the loss of an absolute gentleman and hockey devotee.

More information on Dennis’ hockey achievements and life can be found here.