In the wake of one of New Zealand netball's finest moments, Tania Dalton was again stealing the show.

The Silver Ferns had just snatched the world title off Australia in dramatic fashion, overcoming a final-quarter "sin-binning" of centre Temepara Bailey to prevail 49-47.

Dalton, a goal shoot or goal attack, had not taken the court for that 2003 championship decider in Kingston, Jamaica, but was the undisputed MVP (Most Vocal Party-goer) in the celebrations that followed.

"I think the memory that stood out for me is definitely winning that world championship and Tania up on the table, singing and dancing to 'Sweet Caroline'," reflects Silver Ferns shooting legend Irene van Dyk of her former team-mate.


"That is the way Tania would want to be remembered - the lovely, happy, full-of-life girl."

Dalton, 45, died today, after suffering an internal carotid artery aneurysm while playing touch rugby last Thursday.

She spent most of the weekend in critical condition in Auckland Hospital, but family made the painful decision to switch off life supporter yesterday, when it became obvious she would not pull through.

Family of former Silver Ferns netballer and SKY TV commentator Tania Dalton have formally announced her death.

Obviously shaken by the news, van Dyk still manages a smile at that Kingston recollection of Dalton belting out that party classic.

"She loved that song. I'll tell you what, she knew it word for word and could out-sing Neil Diamond on that one.

"There were plenty of times she would sing it and if there wasn't any times that were worthy, she would make them worthy. She was one of those people who could light up a room and light up a party.

"If it was quiet or there was nothing happening, she would make things happen."

While Dalton and van Dyk were allies in the black dress, they often stared down the court at each other on opposing teams and when that happened, all bets were off.

"Tania was one of those people who, off the court, you'd love her to bits, but on-court, she would pretend not to know you," says van Dyk. "She was so ultra-competitive, she would never back down from a fight and she would fight to the bitter end.

"I think that showed with what happened to her on Thursday and the fact she hung in there until this afternoon. It showed what a hard woman she actually was."

With tributes pouring in from around the globe, "Sweet Caroline" is a common theme, as are Dalton's big smile and wicked sense of humour.

"It doesn't matter who you talk to, everyone has the happiest memories of 'T-Bag', because she was one of those people who just portrayed happiness," says van Dyk. "Everyone she came in touch with, she made them feel valued and feel like her friend, even if she hadn't met them before.

"As you talk to people, the stories would be all the same. She was the happiest, most humble person in the world.

"She was an incredible netball player and an incredible friend, she would have been the most amazing wife and mother, as well as a very successful business women. She literally had it all."

A memorial service will be held for Tania Dalton at North Harbour Stadium next Monday, details to be confirmed.