Hockey: ‘Role model’ Barry Middleton makes 400th international appearance

Barry Middleton
Barry Middleton

Doncaster-born Barry Middleton was showered with praise this week after making his 400th international appearance.

The 33-year-old celebrated reaching the incredible landmark in England’s 2-2 draw with Australia at the World League Finals on Monday.

Middleton, who grew up playing for Doncaster Hockey Club, made his international debut almost 15 years ago.

He is only the fifth player ever in the history of the sport to reach 400 international caps.

Middleton said: “I’m incredibly proud. I’m still enjoying playing so much and I’m really relishing the opportunities with this group moving forward.

“When I do retire I will definitely look back on it more then and there are so many nice memories I’ve had along the way but for now my focus is always on the team and our tournaments.”

Middleton has represented Great Britain at four Olympic Games, England at three World Cups and at eight European Championships.

He has netted 113 goals during his 400 appearances.

GB and England head coach Bobby Crutchley said: “He’s made an incredible contribution to England and Great Britain hockey for 14 years and his attitude to his development and the growth of the team have been exemplary.

“He is a role model for any younger player and a fantastic example for any aspiring athlete to follow.”

GB and England co-captain Ian Sloan said: “400 international caps is outrageous! Barry is an incredible player and person and still has the same desire as a player getting their first cap.”

Teammate David Ames tweeted: “A real legend of our game and still got the skill and energy for at least a hundred more. Many congrats to this down to earth hero!”