100 up for GB's Magnificent 7

Ashley Jackson celebrates HCT2016

When the names of Great Britain’s all-time greats are read out the name of Ashley Jackson is very much a part of that list. Since making his debut in November 2006 as a fresh-faced 19-year-old he has gone on to win a European gold medal, a World Young Player of the Year Award, broken the all time scoring record for his country and has carved a reputation as one of the most feared and admired players in the world. This past weekend, he notched another impressive milestone when he won Great Britain cap No100 in the win over the Netherlands.   

For many, Jackson shot to fame when he won the Player of the Tournament award at the European Championships in 2009. Those in Britain who had seen the youngster were already aware of his precocious talent, however incredible displays against such world powers as Germany and the Netherlands showed the rest of the globe that GB had a real star in their ranks. The World Young Player of the Year gong followed soon after and since then, Jackson has never looked back.

There is a sense that Jackson has been around forever, but at the relatively youthful 28 years old he has plenty of time to cement his legacy, starting this summer at his third Olympic Games. For a player who has been involved for the best part of a decade the motivation to keep going remains clear for the iconic No7:

“Maybe seven or eight years ago I would have said winning was most important without even questioning what else it may be. I still feel that way now but actually it’s important doing what I enjoy and loving what I do.” He adds “Also, the people that are around you are probably more important than anything else. You want to win for them because you know how much it really means to them. Being able to provide them with something so special is pretty much what keeps me going.”

Ashley Jackson 100 GB caps

Jackson’s 100th GB cap this past weekend was without doubt an outstanding achievement in any player’s roll of honour. Head Coach Bobby Crutchley paid tribute to his talismanic midfielder:

“Very few players get 100 Great Britain caps so it tells you something about Ashley Jackson as a player and person that he’s reached that total. He’s taken on the captaincy on the Germany trip and he really led by example. He’s a fantastic player and it’s great to see him achieve another milestone.”

Fittingly, another to pay tribute to Jackson’s excellent efforts is Captain Barry Middleton. A man with over 350 international appearances of his own who has seen Jackson blossom into the world class player he is today:

“It is a great achievement by Ash. He’s a special player, he’s always been someone who can make a difference in games and I’m so happy to have played with him in most of those 100 matches so far.”

An ever-growing list of achievements from Great Britain’s magnificent No7 continues. Can he add the ultimate hockey medal to it this summer and cement his place in British hockey history? We certainly hope so!  

The Olympic Games draws ever nearer. Check out the dedicated hockey pages on the official Rio website!