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Netball New Zealand Mourns The Passing Of Margaret Forsyth

Netball New Zealand is today paying tribute to one of the greats of the game following the passing of former Silver Fern Margaret Forsyth.

The gifted shooter was selected for the Silver Ferns in 1979, as a 17-year-old, and went on to earn 64 Test caps in a career that included three Netball World Cup appearances, winning the coveted title in 1979 and 1987.

Forsyth was Silver Fern number 66.

She made her debut as a teenager against the Jamaican Sunshine Girls and became part of a formidable shooting combination with another rising shooter of the time, Margharet Matenga – the pair dubbed the two Margs.

The two shooters were known for their speed, vision, flair, instinct and calmness under pressure and developed into one of the best shooting combinations of that generation.

Forsyth however was forced to retire at just 27-years-old due to a degenerative knee condition, but the proud Waikato netballer left her mark as a Silver Fern whose athletic ability was matched by her mental strength and unrelenting determination.

Netball New Zealand Chief Executive Jennie Wyllie said the netball community was mourning the loss of an identity of the game.

“Marg has left a significant imprint on New Zealand’s netball landscape,” she said.

“She had a fierce loyalty for netball and represented her country with pride.”

Forsyth was part of the all-conquering 1987 team which won the Netball World Netball Cup in Scotland and would be remembered as a Silver Fern with a strong work ethic and an abundance of natural skill.

“Even when injury forced Marg to hang up her bib, her love of the game spilled over into coaching and there will be many netballers she has guided in both the Waikato and at national level, who will fondly remember the netball coach.

“We were delighted to see her recognised in the New Year’s Honours last year as an acknowledgement for what she has given to both our sport and her community.

“We are deeply saddened at her passing and send Marg’s family our love at this time.”

Forsyth held a number of coaching positions over the years including head coach of Waikato-BOP Magic in 2017 and 2018. She was also assistant coach of the Fast5 Ferns in 2017 and the NZA team in 2016.

She was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (NZOM) in 2020 for her services to netball and community, and attended an investiture ceremony in July last year.

Forsyth will be remembered in the wider community for her role as a Hamilton City Councillor where she was serving her third term. She first served from 2010-2016 and was elected again in 2019. During this term she was Chair of Council’s Environment Committee.

She is survived by her three sons Thomas, Jonathan and Lucien. She also recently became a grandmother for the first time to Rosie-Rae.

The family have asked in lieu of flowers that donations be made to the Waikato Hospice in Forsyth’s memory.

© Scoop Media

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