Tributes paid to Sarah Oldham from March who died after being struck by lightning on holiday in Turkey

Sarah Oldham was an excellent golfer and played off a 7 handicap.
Sarah Oldham was an excellent golfer and played off a 7 handicap.

Tributes have been paid to a March woman who tragically died after being struck by lightning on a romantic golfing holiday with her husband in Turkey.

Tributes have been paid to a March woman who tragically died after being struck by lightning on a romantic golfing holiday with her husband in Turkey.

Sarah Oldham enjoyed running and was planning to complete a marathon.

Sarah Oldham enjoyed running and was planning to complete a marathon.

Her friends described Sarah Oldham as “simply the best company and the most loyal friend you could ask for” while her boss praised her as a “conscientious and caring employee”.

The 39-year-old was struck by lightning as she played golf with her husband Alex, professional golfer at March Golf Club at the Sueno Golf Hotel near Antalya - a place they had visited many times.

She died at Peterborough City Hospital in the early hours of Saturday (2) morning after being flown home in a private jet with Alex at her side.

Alex said: “We had originally booked a holiday to Gambia and flew out on November 1 but it was absolutely terrible from start to finish and after just one night in the hotel, we flew home.

Sarah Oldham loved netball and worked hard for her team both on the court and behind the scenes. She was also a qualified coach and had coached abroad.

Sarah Oldham loved netball and worked hard for her team both on the court and behind the scenes. She was also a qualified coach and had coached abroad.

“I persuaded Sarah to go to the Sueno Golf Hotel which we absolutely love and we flew out on November 17.”

On Monday November 20 they went for a third day of golf and despite the forecast being clear it started to rain about an hour and a half into the game.

“We heard a crack of thunder but it was a long way off. It then really started to rain hard. Sarah went to one side of the fairway, which is surrounded by thousands of really tall trees, and I went to the other, we both crouched down and put our umbrellas up.

“There was an almighty crack of thunder, I turned around and couldn’t see Sarah’s umbrella. I ran over to her and I realised she had been struck.”

Sarah Oldham enjoyed a meerkat experience recently.

Sarah Oldham enjoyed a meerkat experience recently.

Alex administered CPR until emergency services arrived and took Sarah to the local hospital, she was later transferred to the main hospital in Antalya and Sarah’s mum, Christine Coldwell flew out from her home in Huddersfield to be at her daughter’s bedside.

“I knew there was not much hope, but we didn’t want to give up hoping while there was a even a glimmer of a chance,” said Alex, who praised the Sueno Golf Hotel for their support throughout the ordeal. “They were just brilliant they laid on transport every time I needed it, they couldn’t do enough to help.”

Sarah’s condition deteriorated as they came into land at the airport on Friday evening (1) and she was taken straight to Luton hospital. After she was stabilised Sarah was brought to the Peterborough hospital.

“Once we got to Peterborough I was told she only had a few hours left so we sat with her and said our goodbyes,” said Alex.

Sarah Oldham who sadly died after being struck by lightning.

Sarah Oldham who sadly died after being struck by lightning.

Her passing has prompted tributes from Sarah’s employer Malcolm George, owner of Clovelly House in March, where she worked as the care home manager.

Malcolm said: “In September 2004 I employed Sarah on the recommendation of her then boyfriend, Alex. He did an excellent job of selling Sarah to me, in fact he undersold her. Sarah proved to be a conscientious, caring employee.

“I will miss her support and guidance and her down to earth sense of humour. Sarah was loved and respected by all who knew her and will be greatly missed by both staff and residents alike.”

Apart from her golfing prowess Sarah was an excellent netball player and was a member of the Ladybirds Netball Club. Members of the Wisbech Netball League held a minute’s silence in her memory before the start of matches on Wednesday (6) evening.

She was not only skilled on the court but she helped out behind the scenes and also gained coaching qualifications which opened up opportunities for her coach abroad in Spain and Holland. She also coached netball at Wisbech Grammar School.

Sarah’s team mates said: “Sarah loved a challenge and thrived on making people smile, she would always be the first one on the dance floor on a night out and the last to leave. She was very competitive and worked hard at improving herself in anything she took part in which then rubbed off on everyone else around her. Sarah was simply the best company and the most loyal friend you could ask for.”

Fun loving Sarah Oldham loved to dance and was always first on the dancefloor.

Fun loving Sarah Oldham loved to dance and was always first on the dancefloor.

Alex concluded: “What I loved about her was the fact we could play sports together. We enjoyed playing tennis, table tennis as well as golf and she really went all out to be the best she could be. In recent she years she really improved to such an extent I had to up my own game to beat her.”

• Sarah’s funeral is on Thursday, December 21 at 2.30pm at Fenland Crematorium in March, everyone is welcome. Donations for charity in lieu flowers.

Sarah Oldham was a proud and valued member of the Ladybirds Netball Club.

Sarah Oldham was a proud and valued member of the Ladybirds Netball Club.