(Photo: henk offenberg)

As the hockey world and beyond mourns the passing of two hockey legends – David Metter and Luis Ciancia – a more mortal problem has arisen. There is a wealth of history and anecdotal information about our game, it's characters and it's great moments that is in danger of going to the grave with the older generations.

Today, every match, every goal, every statistic, indeed every comment uttered, will be recorded for posterity thanks to the technological wizardry we have at our disposal, but how much important and fascinating history has been buried with some of the great hockey personalities of days gone by? Certainly, Dave Metter was a great raconteur of hockey stories, and we will now never be able to reproduce his words. 

The FIH is fronting an ambitious project to gather hockey history and memorabilia from around the world, and anyone who wants to donate time, energy or hockey artefacts will be welcomed with open arms. One such project that is spearheading the hockey memorabilia movement is the National Hockey Museum (NHM) in England. The museum houses equipment, books, magazines, pictures and cuttings – some more than 150 years old and it will be working with the FIH to collect and capture archives from all hockey playing nations. Whether it is a 19th century programme, a signed shirt from the 1908 Olympics or a recorded interview with one of our veteran players, it will all go towards creating a rich source of hockey heritage.

As one of the oldest team sports in existence and with a history that goes back to Saxon, Egyptian and Roman times, we should be celebrating the history of our sport. 

To see some of the great work that has already been done at the NHM visit www.hockeymuseum.org and to find out how you can get involved contact Mike Smith at the NHM on judysmith61@btinternet.com