Sergeant Charles Forsyth

Water Polo

'Forsyth scored a hat trick in Great Britain’s 9-2 win over Belgium in the 1908 Olympic water polo final.'

Submitted by Lynda Powell

Charles Eric Forsyth was both an excellent swimmer and water polo player.

During his sporting career, which lasted from the early 1900s to the 1920s he enjoyed national fame. As a water polo player, he was one of the greatest players of his day, playing for Hyde Seal Swimming Club and Wigan Swimming Club, one of the strongest clubs in the country. In addition, he was a successful race swimmer who held several national records and championships and won the 500-metre championship of the world in Paris in 1904.

At the 1908 London Olympics, Forsyth was selected for the British water polo team. In the final against Belgium, Forsyth’s hat-trick of goals contributed to the winning score of 9-2 to Britain and gold medals for the team.

At the outbreak of the First World War Forsyth was working as a clerk for Salford City Council. On the 10 September 1914 he joined one of the Manchester Pals Battalions (1st City/16th Battalion). He was promoted to Sergeant in May 1916 and after completing his training he was posted to France in June 1916. In December 1916 he was wounded and on the 1 June 1917 he was discharged from the army as being no longer fit for war service as the result of gunshot wounds to the back and buttocks.

Forsyth continued his connection with water polo until the 1920s. He died on the 24 February 1951