Patrick Cotter

World Croquet Federation

Hall of Fame

Edmond Patrick Charles Cotter

Born: 1905

Died: 1995

Inducted: 2009

 

 

 Pat Cotter (front row, second from right) in the 1963 MacRobertson Shield Test Series

 

Pat Cotter graduated from Trinity College, Dublin with a degree in classics and soon joined the teaching staff at St. Paul’s school, Hammersmith, teaching Latin and Greek. .  During the second World War he was in the R.A.F. in the Intelligence division with the rank of Squadron Leader.  After the war he returned to St. Paul’s as head of classics where he remained until his retirement.

He was an international bridge player, playing regularly at Crockfords and the Devonshire and in 1938 won the World Bridge Championship.  He wrote a weekly article on bridge for the Financial Times and a monthly one for Country Life until shortly before his death. He was also a regular compiler of crosswords for the Times.

Pat Cotter was a scratch golfer and in 1947 was due to play in a competition at the Roehampton club but had sprained his ankle and wandered over to the croquet courts.  He had played a little croquet at university and after a little practice he entered a competition and his handicap was soon down to scratch. Remarkably in 1949, only having played for 2 years he was invited to play in the Presidents Cup and won it, and  went  on to win it another 3 times in the next 4 years. Thus he was the winner on 4 of his first 5 years and in 21 years won it 6 times and was runner-up 5 times.

 He was regarded by Maurice Reckitt as one of the Big Three with Hicks and Solomon and was captain of the winning Great Britain team for the MacRobertson Trophy in England in 1956 and in New Zealand in 1963.  Surprisingly his number of wins in other major events was relatively few, winning the Open Singles only 3 times between 1955 and 1962, 4 Men’s titles between 1952 and 1969, and 2 Mixed doubles, though he did not play in this event very often.   He won the Open Doubles 9 times with John Solomon.

As a player he was extremely accurate with a very light touch and played with a mallet of only 2 lbs 12 ozs, which allowed him to play superb stop shots.  His rushes and split shots were very accurate. He was not a particularly good long shot, probably because he rarely hit the ball hard and even on good courts the ball would veer off line.  He was an excellent tactician and would rarely take a risky shot, preferring to bide his time until his opponent presented him with an opportunity.  He adopted the ploy of peeling his partner ball through the first hoop in his first break, thereby enabling him in his next turn to send the forward ball straight to hoop 3 ready for the triple peel which then became relatively easy and this was soon adopted by many of the better players.  His ball control on hoop running was such that he invariably achieved the rush to wherever he wanted.  He probably created a world record at the time by finishing a best of three doubles in less than one and a half hours, including a stop for morning tea, in a test match at Whangarei in 1963 with his partner Solomon.

He was also instrumental in making relationships between players much more relaxed as he called them by their first names instead of the formal Mr., Mrs, or Miss which was the norm at that time.  His book “Tackle Croquet This Way” was published by Stanley Paul in 1960 in their series on various sports and is a very concise and readable explanation of the basics of the game.

Croquet Hall of Fame

Members of the WCF Hall of Fame

A total of 40 individuals have been inducted into the Hall of Fame since 2006.  They include some of the greatest players in the history of the game and people who have made other significant contributions to the development and enjoyment of Croquet as administrators, coaches or benefactors.  Many Members have served the game in more than one capacity.

The citations of the Members of the Hall of Fame may be found here.

History of the WCF Hall of Fame

At the inception of WCF in 1986 certain principles and objectives were established to promote the sport of Croquet throughout the world.

One of these is enshrined in the WCF Statutes :

(102.2.12) To make awards to those who have contributed to the achievement of the WCF's aims.

Many sports and professions recognise the leaders in their chosen field, either as practitioners or as supporters. This may take the form of the gift of physical tokens such as medals or trophies or by the presentation of awards or certificates of merit. All share the common theme of formally acknowledging those individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to the development and success of the activity.

The WCF Hall of Fame was inaugurated on 2 January 2006 in order to make regular awards to qualifying persons. It is a virtual concept whereby the inductees and their achievements are commemorated on the WCF website.

Specific regulations govern the operation of the WCF Hall of Fame and how candidates for induction may be nominated.

Nominations for the Hall of Fame

Each year, nominations may be made to the WCF between January and the end of June. The candidates are then considered by the Hall of Fame Committee between July and September. The new inductees are decided and announced between October and December.

To nominate someone for the Hall of Fame, please provide a citation for the nominee which gives as many details as possible of their achievements in and contributions to the sport of croquet.  If possible, please also provide one or more suitable photographs of the nominee.  Croquet-related photgraphs are encouraged together with one good quality head-and-shoulders example.  If a nomination is successful, the citation put forward by the proposer will form the basis of the formal citation published on the WCF website.

The citation and any accompanying photographs should be sent by email to the Secretary-General at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by no later than 30 June in any year.  Nominations received after that date will be considered in the following year.