A tribute to Hazel Marsh

Words by Barbara Sanderson

Hazel Marsh: 1928 – 2018

“A life well lived”

One of Essex’s best-known squash enthusiasts, Hazel Marsh died peacefully in May, just three months short of her 90thbirthday.

Hazel was an iconic figure in Essex Ladies’ squash circles for very many years. Initially, she was a member of the former Wanstead Squash Club and more recently of Redbridge Sports Centre; in both clubs, she took a major role in organising ladies’ teams and playing in them. More than that, she was involved in a wide range of other squash activities at both club and county level; for example, she was supportive of junior players, she was often present at county tournaments and county team matches, and she was an enthusiastic participant in the annual Essex Quiz.

The pinnacle of Hazel’s squash career was her involvement in the World Masters Squash Championships, held biennially for players aged over 35. Hazel first entered the Melbourne Championships in 2001 (aged 72!) and followed this up with Helsinki in 2003, Cape Town in 2006, Christchurch in 2008, Cologne in 2010 and Birmingham in 2012 (aged almost 84). She very much wanted to attend Hong Kong in 2014 but her family considered this unwise. At these World Championships, Hazel frequently had to play with younger competitors as nobody else of her age had entered; however, she was the winning Over-70 lady in Melbourne.

At one of the World Masters Championships, Hazel was invited by some Irish friends to participate in the Irish Masters in Dublin. She loved this event and continued with her annual Dublin visits right up to the age of 85.

Off court, Hazel took a full and active part in the championships’ social events and made many friends from all over the world. We shall miss her greatly here in Essex but she will also be mourned in squash circles in many other places.

More than 10 Essex squash players and ex-players traveled to Amershan (Bucks) to join in the celebration of Hazel’s life. There they were joined by a Surrey player and a couple of squash enthusiasts from France.