A PAIR of Solihull hockey players took on brutal conditions to play a mountain top match to raise funds for troops.
James Clapham and Stephen Tabb who play for Old Silhillians Hockey Club scaled 5,022metres up the Himalayas along the Annapurna range in Nepal to play a match in aid of Help For Heroes.
The duo joined forces with teenagers from Lincoln Minster School, in Lincoln, and Hockey For Heroes – a team made up of serving personnel as well as ex-soldiers and those who have been injured or wounded.
The teams played a 50-minute match with Stephen, who lives in Warwick, umpiring – while Solihull resident James played for Hockey For Heroes where the final score was 6-3 to Hockey For Heroes.
Stephen said: “Playing hockey at altitude was incredibly hard work.
“People played in periods of about three or four minutes before volunteering to be substituted and some even then tried to sleep on the side of the pitch.
“We had the rule of no running so that players did not exhaust themselves too quickly.
“It also did not help a huge amount that the playing area was a combination of rocks and boulders.
“Fitness levels did not really make that much of a difference, and altitude sickness can affect you whether you are unfit, or extremely fit.
“James and I were lucky in that we probably suffered the least amount of everyone.”
The teams raised £10,000 for Help For Heroes with £1,000 being donated by Knowle and Dorridge Round Table.
James and Stephen joined Hockey For Heroes in 2013, a year after it was set up.
Stephen said he decided to join in honour of his friends who have served in the forces over the years and his Uncle who was in the RAF.
Hockey For Heroes are always looking for new challenges to help them raise funds.
For more or to challenge the group visit www.hockeyforheroes.org.uk