On this day - Hockey's Pearce brothers win silver
26 October 2016
On this day (26 Oct) in 1968 the Pearce brothers’ Olympic hockey dynasty closed with a silver medal at the Mexico Olympics.
Four Pearce brothers, played 83 games combined for Australia over four Olympiads from 1956 to 1968. A fifth brother Cec, who played for the Australian team, retired before our Olympic debut in 1956.
All born in India, the family immigrated to Perth in the late 1940s. Cec Pearce was the first to represent Australia in hockey from 1950 to 1954. Mel Pearce made his debut for Australia in 1952 and played for Australia at the 1956 Olympic Games where he started in Australia's Olympic debut on 23 November 1956. He played three games in 1956. Alongside Mel at the Melbourne Games were two other Pearce brothers. Gordon went on to play 26 Games in three Olympics (1956, 1960 & 1968) and win a silver medal in Mexico. Eric, was possibly the most successful Pearce brother. He played at four Olympics from 1956 to 1968, started in 27 games, won a silver and bronze medal, scoring 16 goals – the third highest by an Australian in Olympic history.
The fourth brother to play in the Olympics was Julian Pearce who debuted in Rome in 1960 and played 27 games during his three campaigns which ended in Mexico. He won a bronze and silver in Tokyo and Mexico respectively.
Julian, Eric and Gordon played in the 1968 Olympic Games tournament, with only Julian and Gordon playing in the gold medal match on 26 October, Australia lost 2-1 to Pakistan.
No more than three Pearce brothers represented in any Olympic tournament, but three played regularly during each campaign from 1956 to 1968.
There was a final honour for Eric Pearce in Mexico when he was named the closing ceremony flagbearer for Australian.
Australian women made their Olympic debut in 1984 in Los Angeles and another Pearce was on the Australian team. Eric’s daughter, Colleen played four games in the tournament where Australia placed fourth, losing to USA in a bronze medal round-robin shootout.
SUMMARY - PEARCE BROTHERS
Eric Pearce – (29/10/31) Australian team 1956 to 1968; 4 Olympic Games (1956-1968), 27 Games in the Olympics, silver & bronze medalist, 16 Olympic goals
Mel Pearce – (9/1/28) Australian team 1952 to 1956; 1 Olympic Games (1956), 3 Games in the Olympics. Vice-captain 1956 Olympic team.
Julian Pearce – (15/4/37) Australian team 1960 to 1970; 3 Olympic Games (1960-1968), 27 Games in the Olympics, silver & bronze medalist
Gordon Pearce – (10/1/34) Australian team 1956 to 1969; 3 Olympic Games (1956, 1960, 1968), 26 Games in the Olympics, silver medalist
Cec Pearce - Australian team 1950 to 1954.