Mary Thomas, MBE

Joan Mills

For many people Mary Thomas was England Netball and Umpiring. She gained her Panel umpiring award at the age of 19. Represented England in the first senior netball team in 1948. She gained international umpiring status and presented papers at the first World Championship in 1963.

She was Vice Chair, Vice President, and National Technical Officer of England Netball and was awarded England Netball Honorary Life Membership in 1989, and an MBE in 1995.

Mary was instrumental in the production of England Netball’s first videos which include Coaching, Umpiring, and Netball for the Under 12s.

Her Planning a Tournament booklet is still used by tournament organisers today.

She was a highly respected Kent County Coach and Selector who served Kent for many years and gave freely of her knowledge and expertise to produce highly skilful county players. She could be quite a formidable character who demanded excellence and 100% commitment, and you never said ‘No’ to Mary!

Mary was also a lecturer at Dartford College of Physical Education in the 1960s. (The college was established by Martina Bergman Österberg and was the ‘Home of Netball‘.)

Her dedication, commitment and professionalism will long be remembered by everyone who knew her.


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