Netball great Margaret Forsyth dies at 58

Margaret Forsyth was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit last year for services to...
Margaret Forsyth was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit last year for services to netball and community. Photo: Government House
Netball great Margaret Forsyth has died after a battle with cancer. She was 58.

The gifted shooter was selected for the Silver Ferns in 1979 as a 17-year-old and went on to play 64 tests including three World Cup including victories in 1979 and 1987.

Her first test was against Jamaica and she 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.

However she was forced into early retirement at 27, due to a degenerative knee condition.

She went on to hold a number of coaching positions 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.

Forsyth was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit last year for services to netball and community.

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.

Forsyth also served as a Hamilton City Councillor.

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

Her husband Brian died last year.

 

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