Cecilia (Cecil) Reid (née Kelly), the former Irish Ladies Hockey President and long-time Irish selector passed away on 7 August 2018 just two days after the World Cup final which Ireland graced with their presence for the first time following a memorable sequence of results.
Reid was born in Limerick City and attended Laurel Hill School where she was first introduced to hockey. As a player she won the Munster Senior Cup and scored the winning goal in the Irish Junior Cup final in 1950 (there being no senior hockey in Limerick at that time). She played for the Munster inter-provincial senior team in 1955. Reid co-founded Lansdowne hockey club in 1951 as the first senior ladies team in Limerick and was the mainstay throughout its existence for the ensuing fifty years, often, especially in the later years, on a wing and a prayer. Innumerable schoolgirls were introduced to the game through her efforts and progressed to all levels including international Ireland star Eimear Cregan who was one such protege. She started her hockey and senior hockey careers at Lansdowne HC whilst also playing schools hockey with the same Laurel Hill.
Reid’s greatest forte was as an administrator, being an Irish selector for twenty-two years and President of both Munster and Ireland. She led Ireland out in the latter role at Wembley in 1984 for the annual, iconic, packed-out match: England against a different nation each year. On that occasion, Ireland achieved a rare and memorable victory over England winning 1-0. She also travelled to the World Cup in Vancouver in 1979 as a selector.
She was a lovely lady and would have been thrilled at how wonderfully the Irish women’s team performed at the 2018 World Cup. She just about hung on to partly see and hear the pictures and commentary from the final match. A fitting time to depart after a lifetime devoted to women’s hockey.
Dedication by Patrick Reid (son), February 2019