Born on April 27th, 1909 in West Ham London, Bob Wyman was to become one of the two English trained players on the 1936 Olympic gold medal winning team representing Great Britain. He was to play in the second game of the tournament – a three-nil win over Japan – before joining the BBC radio commentary team.
Aged fifteen, he became the schoolboy long jump champion of England and learnt to skate and play hockey around the six ice rinks then operating in London in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s.
In 1933/34, Bob Wyman combined his first season in ‘senior’ hockey playing with the Grosvenor House Canadians, with success in speed skating. Already a holder of the British ˝ mile indoor title, he won the national 440 yards outdoor crown staged at the Rickmansworth Aquadrome during a cold snap in January 1934 – a triumph duly celebrated on a Gallagher’s cigarette card.
In October 1934, together with the Canadians, he moved to the newly opened Empire Pool at Wembley and played there for two seasons before joining the Richmond Hawks for their final campaign in the English National League. Then followed a winter playing for the Princes club at the lower level of the London and Provincial League before the only season during wartime, that of 1939/40 saw him rejoin the English National League with the Harringay Greyhounds.
Bob Wyman was the archetypal defensive defenceman, with a personal high of 2 goals and 3 assists in 1940. Harringay and Great Britain coach at the time, Percy Nicklin said of him, “he has an accurate and formidable bodycheck as good as any Canadian.”
After wartime service in the Royal Navy saw him reach the rank of Lieutenant-Commander he returned to playing, with the Wembley Monarchs for just nine games in the 1946/47 season. His appearances on the ice grew fewer and he finally retired three years later, ending his playing career with Sussex in the Southern League.
At international level, Bob Wyman represented Great Britain in the 1935 World Championships, scoring the only goal in a one-nil victory over the French, which helped to ensure the bronze medal. As well as the ’36 Olympics, he was selected for the 1938 and 1939 World Championship tournaments, making twenty appearances for his country in total.
Compiled by Martin C.Harris – June 2000.