Ex-Olympian, hockey coach Lawrence van Huizen dies, aged 89

Lawrence Joseph van Huizen distinguished himself as a national hockey player and coach.

PETALING JAYA: Former Olympian and hockey coach Lawrence Joseph van Huizen has died. He was 89.

His son Stephen, a former national hockey player and coach, said Lawrence died at the Seremban Hospital at 4.30am today after being warded for two weeks.

“He succumbed due to old age and passed away peacefully,” he told FMT.

Lawrence played for the Malaysian team together with his younger brother, the late Peter, in the 1958 and 1962 Asian Games in Tokyo and Jakarta, respectively, and the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

He was assistant coach to the late Ho Koh Chye in the 1975 World Cup in Kuala Lumpur, when the Malaysian team finished a respectable fourth.

Lawrence was also coach of the national women’s team for five years from 1981.

Stephen said his father also coached the Indonesian and Singapore national women’s squad and the Sarawak women’s team after he retired as senior bank clerk in Seremban.

Lawrence, a former student of St Paul’s Institution here, also coached the school’s Under-18 hockey team for 43 years from 1958, and the team from the Convent School.

The greatest moment in his coaching career must surely have been seeing five of his players featuring in the Paris Junior World Cup in 1979.

The five were Stephen, Colin Sta Maria, Derek Fidelis, Kevin Nunis and William Lazaro.