Penn hockey club was reportedly formed in 1936 but details from the early years are sketchy.
They played on numerous pitches, one being the Belfast road pitch where Windmill Hollow houses were built. Rumour has it, that if the umpire gave too many decisions against Penn, he was threatened with being thrown in the nearby Mill Dam. They also had a novel way of raising funds in those days. Every Boxing Day the members would don fancy dress and parade up main street collecting donations on the way. One player, a Jack Hall would dress up as a jockey and lead the parade riding a donkey.
With the war almost over the club was reformed in 1944 with Marcus Blain being the chief organizer. The first game was against North Down. The Penn team contained only three players who had played hockey before, so a 4-3 defeat was in some way a moral victory. The team soon improved and success followed when they managed to win the Braddell Sheild and the Junior League Cup.
By this time they were playing their home matches in a local Demense. This location was not ideal as the hockey pitch encroached on the cricket square, and this caused some resentment with the Cricket Club members. Unfortunately, there was no such thing as hot showers then, so the home team and visitors alike head to the river at the side of the pitch to wash off the mud.
By now three teams were fielded every week, and the club was growing from strength to strength.
In the season 1954-55, the second and third elevens won three trophies between them. The McMeekin Cup, the Junior League Cup, and the Mulholland Shield were brought home to Penn where the players celebrated long and hard in the Rosie Bar which was owned by the Carville family. This was appropriate as Peter Carville was on the winning team.
The season 1969-70 was a major one for the club as they entered Senior Hockey for the first time. This season was a learning experience for them as they came up against the likes of Lisnagarvey and Banbridge in the Kirk Cup. They were not disgraced by any means in this competition as the only lost 3-1 to Lisnagarvey at Blaris and managed to beat Banbridge by 2-1 at home.
The league programme in section two however was a different matter with relegation at the end of the season. Back in the grade of hockey which was their standard they continued to be quite successful even though silverware eluded them until 1985. That year the seconds under Captain Roger Gould lifted the Junior League six and the Minor Cup. The final of the Minor Cup was played at newforge against Lisnagarvey with David Johnston scoring in a 1-0 win.
The all weather pitch provided by the council and situated beside the cricket pitch had now been in use for a number of years. This was a godsend for the Club and brought to an end the aggravation with the Cricket Club.
Over the years the Club has been represented on the junior Ulster squad which is selected to play the Inter Pros at the end of the season.
There have been a lot of ups and downs since the success of 1985 but the first eleven have appeared in two Intermediate Cup finals being beaten on both occasions. The clubs latest trophy was the Strabane Cup which the seconds won in 2005 beating a very good Banbridge side 1-0 in the final at Bangor.
The club is led by a very vibrant and hard working committee and with a strong youth policy in operation they intend to be providing sports for the citizens of Penn for the foreseeable future.