Emma you were one of a kind! I remember the first time I met you, at an HNC training session. I saw the most incredible netballer and coach, with skills so far above everyone else’s and an effortless ability to command a room full of chatty women and make them work together! 

As time went on you continued to be my coach, but also my teammate, champion and friend. On court I wanted to make you proud of me and the games that stick in my head are the ones where you changed the result with your positive attitude, your relentless enthusiasm and your brilliant tactics. It’s no exaggeration to say that you pulled our team up to a higher standard than most of us ever dreamt was possible. You did it by believing in us and making us believe it too! 

Thank you for that! But thank you also for being my friend. For being the kindest of all of us, for always thinking of others before yourself even in the hardest of times for you personally. Thank you for the hugs, the supportive words, for indulging my netball insecurities whilst also telling me to get a grip! Thank you for the hand-me-downs for Arthur, the kids stuff recommendations, the crazy car journeys and the funny stories.

Thank you for the memories Emma – I miss you x


Helen Umpelby

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