THE old adage that age is no barrier has particular resonance for one Levens hockey player who has just picked up his latest accolade at the age of 75.
Bill Warrender returned from The Hague after contesting the Seventh Grand Masters Hockey World Cup with a silver medal in his back pocket.
Competing in the over 75 category, England comprehensively brushed aside the Netherlands and an Alliance side – made up of players from around the world – but lost twice to Australia.
These defeats saw England finish second in the league table behind their southern hemisphere rivals, although Warrender more than made his mark on proceedings.
The centre forward netted five goals in the tournament, including a hat-trick against the Alliance in an 8-0 win, and was also presented with an Australian shirt after being voted man of the match.
“I was delighted to come away with the silver medal,” he said.
“When we looked at the two results against the Australians they were the better side and we can have no complaints with coming second.
“Having said that, we scored more goals than them and conceded less. In all fairness though, they had a much bigger squad than us and we couldn’t quite do enough to beat them.
“The Australians do a poll among themselves after every match and I got presented with a shirt – it meant nearly as much as the silver medal.
“It is a great source of pride to still be playing hockey at my age. I have been playing in an England shirt since 2004 and this was my sixth masters tournament.”
Warrender, who turned 76 the day after winning silver, has picked up an array of medals with the national side, including gold in South Africa and Germany.
He first started playing hockey as a 14-year-old schoolboy in Somerset, before moving to the South Lakes in the 1970s and captaining Netherfield.
For the last 15 years, Warrender has represented Lancaster and Morecambe, more recently in the third string alongside players at the other end of the age range.
And while not wanting to block the emergence of young talent, the septuagenarian has no designs on hanging up his hockey stick just yet and consign an illustrious career to the pages of history.
“I’m still trying to keep up with 17 and 18 year olds at Lancaster and Morecambe but it’s getting increasingly difficult,” he added.
“I don’t want to get in the way of the younger players but to be playing at international level I need to stay as sharp and fit as I can.
“It is fantastic to go on tour still. I have the time of my life and so does my wife.
“She had no interest in hockey whatsoever until I joined the masters circuit, now I cannot go anywhere without her.
“I’ve been all over the world playing hockey – South America, South Africa, Hong Kong and Malaysia – and it’s been an absolute pleasure.
“I just hope I can keep going for a few more years.”