Kathleen Partridge is being remembered as one of Australian hockey's great characters, and one of the country's best-ever goalkeeping coaches.
The former Armidale local died after losing her battle with cancer. She was 57.
The city's first Olympic gold medallist, Partridge made her Hockeyroos debut in 1985 and went on to represent Australia at two Olympics, winning gold in 1988.
Australian hockey supremo Ric Charlesworth regards Partridge as 'the best goalkeeper coach Australia has had'.
She was the goalkeeping coach for his all-conquering Hockeyroos from 1995-2000, and was involved with the team again in the lead up to the London 2012 Olympics where her protégé Toni Cronk was outstanding.
She later became the first woman to work with the senior national men's program, and was closely involved with the Kookaburras' World Cup winning team in 2014.
The O'Connor Catholic College alumna, after whom the playing fields behind the Armidale Ex-Services Club are named, also penned two successful books on goalkeeping.
Her legacy and contribution to the sport was recognised in 2018 when she was inducted into the Hockey Australia Hall of Fame.
Among the tributes following Partridge's passing was this from Charlesworth:
"Kathleen was diligent, hard working, driven, competitive and purposeful. She also loved a joke and there was another side to her that was a fun-loving larrikin," he said.
"After winning gold in 1988 and finishing her playing career after the 1992 Olympics, Kathleen became involved as the goalkeeper coach for the Hockeyroos while I was there. She was outstanding in that role. She was heavily involved in our success at 1996 in Atlanta, the 1998 World Cup and the Sydney 2000 Olympics."
"She was involved at the 2012 London Olympics with the women's goalkeepers and developed some of the most outstanding goalkeepers we have ever had."
He added that the fact that she held down the job in men's program was "testament to the quality of what she did".
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