CHESTER hockey star James Fair is in the frame to scoop a prestigious award at the England Hockey Board awards.
Fair, who hails from Pulford, has been nominated for the men’s player of the year award on the back of his impressive displays in goal for England at the World Cup in India.
The former Chester King’s School pupil was a vital part of the England team that reached the last four of last month’s competition where, after defeating world-class sides Pakistan and eventual winners Australia in the group stages, they were denied a spot in the final after a 4-1 defeat to rivals Germany.
Fair, 28, said: “To be nominated for an award is great but all of the guys played so well at the tournament.
“The hockey we played at the World Cup was great but it was bitterly disappointing that we were unable to reach the final as we thought we could win it.
“We started so well but we fell away in the latter stages.”
Fair, who plays his club hockey with Cannock, believes that despite the disappointment of their World Cup exit, the increased media coverage given to the sport will help it progress.
He said: “We won the European Championships last summer so we had high hopes going into the competition but we didn’t expect the kind of media coverage we got or the level of support from back home.
“It is great to see so many youngsters taking up hockey and playing it in their schools and colleges.”
Former Deeside Ramblers goalkeeper Fair believes that the London 2012 Olympics could be the making of hockey.
“London 2012 will be a big thing,” he said. “If we can do well then hopefully it will kickstart the sport.”
The England Hockey Board awards will be held in Nottingham this June.