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Bell savours 'amazing' experience after completing Ball Patrol duties at Hockey World Cup

Matthew Bell
Matthew Bell

STRATFORD Hockey Club’s Matthew Bell looked back on an “amazing” experience after successfully completing his Ball Patrol duties at the Hockey World Cup in London.

The 15-year-old, who is a qualified umpire, was on duty for a number of matches in the tournament, including both semi-finals.

It was a highlight to end a 12-month spell of contrasting emotions, after he was involved a car crash while on holiday in Cyprus last August.

The Alcester Grammar School student suffered a broken collarbone and further internal injuries, which ruled him out of action until November.

No sooner was he back, then he broke a rib in December, but since the turn of the year Bell has not looked back.

Firstly, he was a nominated finalist for an England Hockey award in the Rising Star category, before topping it off with Ball Patrol selection in the capital.

“It was an amazing experience,” said Bell, who is currently studying for his GCSEs.

“I met so many new people and it was brilliant to be at a World Cup, where there were big crowds and a great atmosphere.”

Bell was also involved in Sunday’s World Cup final between Holland and Ireland, a game that saw the Dutch claimed the title for a record eighth time with a crushing 6-0 win.

“The final weekend was really quite spectacular,” said Matthew’s mother, Milena.

“Matthew was on duty for the semi-finals and then they included all of the Ball Patrol squad on Sunday for the final.

“It’s been a fantastic experience and he loved every minute of it.

“This summer was about making new memories and after what happened last year. If this is how it’s going to be, then it’s amazing.”

Bell is now hoping to be selected for Ball Patrol duty for next year’s Hockey Pro League, a championship for men’s national teams.

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