We are sad to hear that Charles Mock, legendary Maltese water polo player and coach, great friend and honorary member of Penguin, has passed away.
Charlie’s long association with Penguin started in 1967 when he became friends with our men’s team while they were playing in a tournament in Malta. Charlie was the goalkeeper for the hosting club, Balluta WPC. Read more about how this friendship started in the Penguin100 story by Charlie’s great friend Malcolm Cromer.
Charlie played with Balluta WPC, now San Ġiljan ASC, between 1951 and 1973. During this time, he won the Malta National League title five times.
Charlie was a highly respected junior water polo coach who nurtured young players in many clubs across Malta, and he loved distance sea-swimming. He swam the Gozo Channel on four occasions, the last when he was 62 years of age.
Charlie was a great storyteller and he had plenty of anecdotes to share about his water polo career and his friendship with the Penguins. He also loved to relate tales of the parts he had played in a number of films made on location in Malta. These included a small speaking role as a German U-boat sailor in Murphy’s War with Peter O’Toole, and a crowd scene behind Brad Pitt in World War Z.
Our Club’s close association with Malta, through Charlie, is illustrated by this article from the Malta Independent newspaper from Wednesday 23 May 2007:
40th Anniversary of Penguins waterpolo club visit to Malta
It was 40 years ago that London club Penguin SC paid a visit to Malta to play some matches. It was an initiative of Carm Borg, then president and also a player of the local Balluta Waterpolo Club.
Their visit here coincided with a tournament which included the participation of the ASA Selection, Neptunes, Sliema ASC and RAF Cyprus. The tournament was held at the old St Julian’s pitch and it was well attended by the numerous followers of this sport on this island.
After that tournament, the Balluta club organized an evening ‘floodlit tournament’ between local clubs Balluta, hosts, Sliema and Neptunes, as well as two English clubs, Penguin and Otters.
Since those days Charlie Mock, the former Balluta and Malta keeper, maintained constant contacts with Penguin SC old boys, through Malcolm Cromer and the late Terry Bushell, the Londoners’ goalkeeper, both of whom frequently returned to Malta for a holiday. One of their youngest players was Jack Neivens who was around 16-17 when the club played here in 1967.
The latest re-union brought together, among others, the likes of Ron Turner (Penguin SC) and Anglu Tonna, a former Balluta stalwart, who are now octogenarians.
During the reception hosted by San Giljan ASC at their club last Saturday, former Balluta players Carm Borg, Charlie Mock, Anglu Tonna, Freddie Grixti, Peter Bonello, presently the Mayor of St Julians, David Martin, Charlie Galea, Eddie Xuereb, Norman Vella and Joe Debono, again mingled with Terry King, Malcolm Cromer, John Whelan, Gerry Jarrett, Lewis Blomfield and Johnnie Lake who joined Valletta WPC in 1968.
It was a memorable and enjoyable evening where past memories were revived.
Over the years Charlie welcomed a number of Penguin water polo teams back to Malta and he always had a warm reception for his Penguin friends when they were holidaying Malta.
Of course we were always happy to welcome Charlie when he was in the UK and he was a special guest at our Penguin Dinner in 2013.
He will be missed by all Penguins who knew him.
Our condolences to Bianca, Stephen, Michael, Peter and the rest of Charlie’s family.
RIP Mr Mock.
Read this tribute to Charlie by one of his Maltese friends, originally published in the Sunday Times of Malta: https://theworldnews.net/mt-news/appreciation-charlie-mock