Netball: Silver Ferns great and former Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic coach Margaret Forsyth dies aged 59

Silver Fern great and former Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic netball coach Margaret Forsyth has died at the age of 59.

Forsyth was the youngest Silver Fern to play at a netball World Cup, selected as just a 17-year-old for the tournament in 1979.

Following her playing career, Forsyth served in the Police force as well as three terms as a Hamilton City councillor, while also coaching the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic in 2017 and 2018.

Three weeks ago she stepped down from her role at the Hamilton city council citing ongoing health issues.

Forsyth was last year made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to netball and the 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 1987 Silver Ferns side that won the netball World Cup in Scotland and will be remembered as a player 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,” Wyllie said.

“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.”

In the coaching realm, Forsyth also served as assistant coach of the Fast5 Ferns in 2017 and the NZA team in 2016.

During her time at the Hamilton city council she was Chair of Council’s Environment Committee.

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