We are saddened to hear today of the death of one of the European hockey family, Eric Denis from Belgium.
Eric, aged 52, had a wonderful career both on and off the pitch. A Belgian Airforce pilot, he subsequently became a pilot for the Belgian Royal family as well as base captain for Norwegian Airlines, working from Barcelona.
He umpired at the highest level; the pinnacle of his career was being a part of the umpiring panel of the World Cup 1998 in Utrecht and of the Sydney Games in 2000.
He was revered, respected and applauded in Belgium for this achievements, but his passion for the game transcended his own top career as he moved to be part of the mentorship of Belgian umpires who have taken up where he had left off.
He became a part of the international group of umpires who gave back to the young and up and coming umpires when he headed up our Umpire Mentor Programme (UDP), giving his time and expertise willingly.
We extend our deep condolences to his wife Kathy and his sons Maxime and Mathys at this most difficult time.
Eric, gone too soon, may your passion for hockey inspire those you have left behind.