Obituary: Former England and Ipswich hockey player Widge Sinclair, also excelled at golf

Widge Sinclair, who passed away in December, aged 68

Widge Sinclair, who passed away in December, aged 68 - Credit: Archant

A former Ipswich and England hockey player, who also captained Suffolk County Ladies’ golf team, passed away just before Christmas.

An erstwhile captain of Woodbridge Golf Club, Widge Sinclair, whose real name was Celia Ann (Nee Masters), was 68.

Educated in Bristol and Bedford, Widge moved to Ipswich in 1970, marrying her husband Robin, a solicitor in the town, in 1971.

The mother of two boys, Andrew and Jeremy, Widge played hockey for England 16 times between 1970 and 1974, scoring six goals, and represented her country at Wembley whilst pregnant with Andrew.

After 12 years at Ipswich Ladies’ Hockey Club, Widge joined Ipswich YMCA Hockey Club in 1982, representing the club for three years.

Widge’s golf career was also impressive, the single handicap golfer playing for Suffolk in the 1989-90 season, before captaining the team in 2001 and 2002. She later became the ladies’ captain at Woodbridge Golf Club.

Former president of Ipswich Ladies’ Hockey Club, Margaret Bryant, paid tribute to Widge, saying: “I knew Widge a long time and she was a very good asset to the club and a very good player, who went on to represent England.

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“When she gave up hockey she became a very talented golfer. She was a natural and I don’t think she needed to practice much.

“Widge had a lovely sense of humour, was very positive, and was the sort of person who always played her part behind the scenes.

Another long-term friend of Widge’s, Pam MacBride – the pair played golf and hockey together – added: “Widge could run like the wind. She was such an accomplished sportswomen, she was a natural.”

Widge suffered for many years with back problems and underwent a number of operations and surgeries.

She returned to club golf in 2004, but was diagnosed with chronic pulmonary disease in 2009 – a fact that she kept from her family and friends until 2015.

Widge’s husband Robin paid tribute to his wife, saying: “She was an extremely determined lady who suffered more than her fair share of misfortune but never once complained and fought for her life to the end.”