Scotland: Derek Forsyth, 1958-2023

Scottish Hockey today mourns the loss of colleague, and friend, Derek Forsyth, our Performance Programme Manager and former Scotland men’s national team coach, who after a short illness has sadly passed away.

The Forsyth family are synonymous with the Scottish Hockey family. Derek’s wife, Lynn, is the current Scottish Hockey president and is a former Scottish Hockey international. Both of Derek’s sons, David and Alan, are also Scottish Hockey Internationals. The thoughts of everyone at Scottish Hockey are with Derek’s family at this extremely sad and difficult time.

Derek was a tremendous servant to Scottish Hockey, most recently in the role of Performance Programme Manager, and to the Scotland men’s programme.

Derek, a valued and much respected member of our hockey family, started as assistant coach of the men’s national team from 2007, then stepping up to the head coach position in 2012 and delivered a tremendous period of success that saw the team promoted to the top tier of European hockey, and achieve its highest ever world ranking.

He was previously head coach of the Scotland U21 men’s side between 1991 to 1998 and 2010 to 2012.

It was in 2017, with Derek at the helm, that Scotland’s long-awaited return to the top tier of European hockey was delivered when the Blue Sticks won gold at Men’s EuroHockey Championship II in Glasgow.

The victory saw Scotland men finally take to the pitch at the EuroHockey Championships in Antwerp, in 2019, after a 12-year hiatus.

Also, in 2017 the team excelled beyond all expectations to qualify for the World League Semi-Finals in London, after an excellent qualifying campaign in Glasgow, and Belfast. The year ended with Scotland men winning a prestigious Team of the Year award – a fantastic accolade for the squad.

This period of success contributed to Scotland men’s highest ever world ranking in 2019, rising from 28th to 19th, a huge testament to both the players and staff.

Derek was head coach for three Commonwealth Games: Glasgow 2014; Gold Coast 2018; and Birmingham 2022; and was assistant for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi 2010.

At Gold Coast 2018 Scotland men achieved their highest-ever finish at a Commonwealth Games, a remarkable achievement that was not included in Scotland’s rankings success in 2019.

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic could not stop Scotland progressing. After a penalty shootout in the final Scotland won silver in 2021 at Men’s EuroHockey Championship II in Gniezno.

While working as head coach of the Scotland U21 men the team finished a creditable fifth in the European Championships on two occasions, and 10th at the 1993 Junior World Cup. There was also success in 2010 when the team won gold at the European ‘B’ division in Vienna.

As a mark of respect the Scottish Hockey office operations will be suspended until Monday 3rd July.

Barry Cawte, Chief Executive of Scottish Hockey, said, “We are devastated by the loss of one of our hockey family. Derek has been one of the most influential people in our sport, the scale of his impact over the years cannot be measured. He is an all-time great in our sport. His passion and determination for our organisation was unparalleled.

“Derek was widely respected and was an integral part of our team, and was always a great source of support for so many of his colleagues. We will greatly miss his humour, drive, ambition and knowledge. It has been an honour to have him as a colleague and friend.

“Our deepest condolences at this time remain with Lynn, David and Alan and all his family and friends.”



by Scotland Hockey

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