Leicester Ladies and GB Hockey star Diane Batterham has died

It is with great sadness that the England Hockey has to report the death of Di Batterham who died at the weekend, aged 71, after a long and brave battle against cancer.

Di spent her domestic playing career at Leicester Ladies and did a huge amount for hockey in both her home county and for her country. She played for England seven times in 1971 and then went on to manage a very successful Great Britain ladies team from 1987-1992 alongside coach Dennis Hay.  This included fourth place in the Seoul Olympics in 1988 and a Bronze medal in Barcelona in 1992.

Diane Batterham

Diane Batterham (front row, 2nd from the left) in the England B team in 1971.

Gaynor Nash (Leicester HC), David Cawthorn (Leicestershire & Rutland Hockey Association) and Mary Nevill (GB Captain Barcelona 1992) all worked closely with Di throughout her years in hockey and we are very grateful to them for sharing some memories about the times they spent together: 

Leicester HC
As a local (Leicester) girl, Di played hockey for club, county, territory and country but her greatest achievement was as the player-friendly manager of the Great Britain women's hockey team that won bronze in Barcelona in 1992. Jane Sixsmith and Mary Nevill might have been the stars but Di contrinuted so much to the spirit of the side.

Di taught locally at Stonehill High School for many years, inspiring many a young girl to play hockey. She also served county schoolgirls and the women's association in many capacities, most recently as long-serving Treasurer of the women's hockey section.

Di was a key figure at Leicester Ladies throughout the 60s and 70s and even nearing the end of her career she remained rock solid at the back, able to read the game brilliantly and with superb distribution skills.

Golf has been Di's passion for the last thirty years but she retained a great affection for club and county hockey and her death leaves all who knew her saddened, but all the richer for having known such a character. Gaynor Nash, Leicester Ladies Hockey Club. 

Leicestershire & Rutland Hockey Association
Leicestershire & Rutland Hockey Association reflect on the loss a fantastic ambassador for the game of hockey and a character that will be greatly missed by all who knew her.  Quite simply she was a 'Leicestershire Legend'. 

Diane represented her Country as a player and an official with great ability, style, commitment and pride.  She had an uncanny knack of reading perfectly every situation on a Hockey pitch. David Cawthorn Presdient of Leicestershire & Rutland Hockey Association Schools and Youth

Di BatterhamMary Nevill
"Di (pictured left) was a fantastic personality - always cheerful, encouraging, very positive in all circumstances and kept everyone involved and engaged in the team.
 
As a manager she was outstanding, unbelievably efficient and negotiated her way with skill and charm through the most challenging of situations. Di made an immense contribution to the quality of life and hockey experience for everyone in the GB squad and she will be very sadly missed." Mary Nevill GB Captain Barcelona 1992.
 
Our heartfelt feelings go out to Barry and Diane’s family at this very sad time.

There is a Memorial service on Tuesday 15th Nov at St James Church, Birstall, Leicestershire at 12.00.