Amsterdam legend Bakker retires from top hockey

Billy Bakker said goodbye to top hockey after 14 seasons with AH&BC Amsterdam’s first team this week, confirming his intentional retire both from the first team and from the Netherlands squad.

Bakker leaves with a wonderful list of achievements: including two National Championships with Amsterdam as well as two Euro Hockey League silver medals and one bronze.

He also played 236 international matches for the Oranje, winning an Olympic silver medal, two World Cup silvers and three European Championship titles among other awards.

At the end of 2020, the Amsterdam captain for nine seasons had already made the decision for himself.

“Irrespective of the result, I had already decided to stop after the Olympics,” Bakker said. It felt the right time to make the decision but now also brings with it a strange feeling.

“I was always busy with hockey. It feels very special not to be now but I’ve been enjoying the past few weeks. Of course I don’t know how that will feel in a while because I still like the game very much.

“It feels as if I have already experienced everything that has to do with hockey and of course everything comes to an end.”

He will now focus on his hockey and marketing company which he runs with Mirco Pruijser.

Paying tribute to Bakker, Amsterdam chairman Marc Staal said: “Billy Bakker is one of the icons of Amsterdam. It is unique that Billy played for the club from Boys 8E1 [the earliest youth level], went through the entire youth system and then into Heren 1 for 14 years and finally left as captain of Heren 1 and the Dutch team.

“It’s great that this is possible within our club and Billy is a fantastic example for all the boys and girls from the youth. He means a lot to us on and off the field and we are proud of his achievements. We will definitely miss Billy in the first team but are very happy that he remains an active member of Amsterdam.”

Bakker reciprocated that message, saying: “Hockeyclub Amsterdam means a lot to me. It is more than an association. It will always remain a second home for me. You will probably see me a lot at the club in the future, perhaps together with my children if they want to play hockey”.