A consultant anaesthetist who put dreams of professional hockey career aside for medical training has been selected to play for his country.
John Radcliffe Hospital employee Dr Mark Crowley, from Stanton St John, has been chosen to represent England in the over-40s Masters hockey team.
He will travel to Belfast next Friday to play in the Home Nations Championships.
The news comes 17 years after he was originally offered the opportunity to play hockey professionally while as a student at Paddington’s St Mary’s Hospital.
But financial pressures and time commitments caused him to put hockey hopes on hold.
Dr Crowley, 39, said: “I think it’s nice to be able to do something that I missed; an opportunity that I could not take because of the conflict with my life.
“It’s quite nice to have a second bite of the cherry.”
The father-of-two previously represented England, playing for the under-21s team when the chance to play in the 2000 Sydney Olympics began to surface.
Despite playing since the age of seven and playing league hockey at the top level for 10 years in London, he decided to concentrate on his medical career.
But after eight years playing with the Oxford Hawks, he was invited to represent the region and played for the South of England.
The Nuffield Department of Anaesthetics consultant was then one of a handful players invited to try for the national team.
Three gruelling six-hour trials took place before he secured his place.
Dr Crowley said: “You just think it’s a lost opportunity and for many years you always question whether you made the right decision.
“You always think you made the wrong decision. “I had that feeling for many years so I was absolutely delighted that I can actually address that and be able to take that and get out there and play for my country.”
Dr Crowley took part in June’s Masters Hockey World Cup where he played seven games in The Netherlands with the England team, winning a bronze medal.
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