Monday, June 14, 2021

Sporting identity John Forbes dead at 79 after falling into a creek

Tributes are flowing for Australian sporting identity John Forbes OAM after he was killed in an accident at his property in Mitiamo, in northern Victoria.

His body was discovered by a neighbour at about 9.30 am yesterday in Bendigo Creek.

The 79-year old is believed to have fallen into the water as he attempted to fill a bucket of water for his garden. Forbes had late stage Parkinson’s disease and previously battled bowel cancer.

Born in country Victoria, he was a founding member of the Victorian Blue Ribbon Foundation. But Mr Forbes’s biggest legacy has been left at the Rochester Sports Museum.

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During a 22-year career working as the national promotions manager at Puma, he amassed a large collection of sports memorabilia that he donated to the museum.

The collection includes pieces from the likes of Don Bradman, Dawn Fraser, Shane Warne, Sharelle McMahon and Greg Norman.

The museum opened in 2019 after a long campaign by Mr Forbes and the Rochester Lions Club.Friend and Rochester Sports Museum volunteer Bob Knight said Mr Forbes’s death came as a shock.

Mr Knight remembered the extraordinary circle of acquaintances Mr Forbes kept and his caring conduct towards them.

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“It’s not everyone who sits at home, ready to have dinner, then a knock a door and in walks the Indian cricket team,” he said.

“If you talk to Shane Warne or any of those players, you’ve only got to see the memorabilia from them and how they’ve signed it to know John was special.

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