Alan Chesney Born 1949
Alan Chesney played at centre half for Canterbury and left half for the champion 1976 New Zealand Olympic team, having dipped his toe in the waters of international hockey as early as 1969. He played for the Harewood club in Christchurch.
Though he missed the 1972 Olympic team, Chesney had a wealth of experience by the time he attended his only Olympics, and he was in good company.
By 1976, there was a vast reservoir of knowledge in the New Zealand side. Of the team that went to the Montreal Olympics, Paul Ackerley, Thur Borren, John Christensen and Tony Ineson, plus Barry and Selwyn Maister, played for the University club in Christchurch, where they were coached by the astute Cyril Walter.
Besides the core of Christchurch players, others in the team with previous Olympic experience were Alan McIntyre, Trevor Manning, Greg Dayman, Ramesh Patel, Jeff Archibald and Arthur Parkin.
The New Zealanders, coached by Ross Gillespie, caused a shock at Montreal by beating Australia 1-0 to win the gold medal. It was not a triumph easily achieved - they won a thrilling play-off match against Spain 1-0 just to squeeze into the semi-finals. There they caused an upset by beating the impressive Netherlands side 2-1 in the third period of extra time. The final, a torrid affair, tipped New Zealand’s way when their captain, Tony Ineson, smashed home a penalty corner shortly after halftime.
Soon after the 1976 Olympics, Chesney, a born salesman, moved to Perth. He has been involved in the worlds of insurance and finance, but always has always had an eye for a product that might sell well - he opened an office in Singapore and among the products he marketed was a line of health supplements.
Chesney played masters hockey most competitively for many years.
The 1976 hockey team was inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame in 1990.