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Momentous occasion for Bec Korfball Club

Peter Saunders - Co-Founder of Bec Korfball Club - Aged 93

Peter was a member of Herne Hill Harriers Athletics Club where the wife of Peter’s friend Fred Bale said to Peter that there is a new game being played that has just come over from Holland. Learning of the style of sport, Peter thought to himself – I have got speed and enjoy ball handling, so I’ll give it a try!

This was with Wandsworth Korfball club, where he met Bill Green. With the game becoming popular, they wanted to spread the game – so Peter suggested to Bill that they start another club.

Bill was a welder and previously a greengrocer – so Bill welded the posts and used baskets he got from the greengrocers. Peter was a teacher in a school, so he lent the school shirts and a ball from the school – so did not cost any money at the start.

Bill was Captain – Peter the Chairman – Pat the Secretary – a Treasurer was not required as there was no money.

Peter is not sure why the club colours were yellow although he has two theories:

1. It could have been that was the colour of the shirts they borrowed from Peter’s school

2. Peter’s house colour in grammar school was yellow

They trained on Tooting Bec common, always outdoors even through the Winter!

Bill brought his family and Peter brought school pals along…

… and Bec Korfball Club was formed.

Still in contact with 2 people from the original team:

Derek Reeve who lives in Woking

Barbara Calbeck who lives in Old Coulsdon and married Ken who himself was a former player and one of Peter’s friend.

Bill unfortunately passed away at a young age in a motorbike accident and his wife, Evelyn, passed away from Alzheimer’s a few years ago.

Memories from Peter:

Travelled to Sheffield to play as a made-up England Team, with players from Bec, Wandsworth and Sheffield getting together to play against the Dutch.

Wandsworth relied heavily on a family of Hadley’s – father was sports organiser for Watney’s – 3 sons all played for Wandsworth.

Rudi Muller arranged to do a demonstration match at New Cross Speedway track.

Family named ‘Daniel’ from Wandsworth came to join Bec in late 50’s. Stan Daniel and Peter had a meeting with the Dutch where Peter wore a dress and did a tango with Stan!

In 1949 went to trips to Schiedam and Leiden (both in Holland) to play against other teams.

Went through the list we have of previous members and remembers some names with fond memories.

Personal Life:

One of the people Bill brought along was his sister ‘Pat’ (real name ‘Doris Patricia’) who became Peter’s wife. Pat sadly passed away in August 2020.

In 1951, Peter and Pat got married but both stopped playing in 1953 when Pat got TB. They moved to Carshalton then to Morden, where Peter played a couple of times for Mitcham before moving to Ashtead in 1978 where he lives today.

Peter taught at Welbeck School, Gainsford School and then The Willows School (Canterbury Road) Morden before taking the position of deputy head at Morden Farm Middle School (now Aragon Primary).

Peter has one son, Ian (lives in Switzerland), 1 granddaughter (lives in Kuala Lumpur), 1 grandson (lives in Cambridgeshire) and great grandchildren.

In 1998, Peter Saunders was awarded the outstanding contribution award at the clubs 50th birthday.

Donations to the clubs:

• Purchased new match balls.

• Pat Saunders Cup - Outstanding contribution from junior.


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