Chairman Of British Swimming Maurice Watkins Dies At The Age Of 79

Published 08/16/2021, 12:40 PM EDT


The chairman of British swimming, Maurice Watkins CBE passed away at the age of 79.

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In addition to being a solicitor of Manchester United, Edward Maurice Watkins CBE was also best known as a sports administrator as he served in multiple roles for different sports administrations, including as chairman of British Swimming. Furthermore, he had also represented high-profile clients in criminal trials, including Eric Cantona and Stuart Hall.

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Maurice Watkins past feats

Apparently, prior to his role as the chairman of British Swimming, Maurice was a director at Manchester United for 28 years. Moreover, he gained popularity for negotiating the deal to keep Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford after he had decided to quit. On top of that, he was also the head of sports law for Brabners Solicitors in Manchester.

Not only this, but he also took up the role of an interim chairman of the Rugby Football League in 2012, Barnsley FC chairman for four years and as a director of Lancashire County Cricket Club. Additionally, Watkins was made a CBE on the Queen’s Birthday Honours list of 2011 for his services to charity.

Maurice’s run with the British Swimming Team

Under his repertoire, the swimming team enjoyed an incredible win at Tokyo Olympics. The team won 4 golds, 3 silvers and 1 bronze, it was indeed a matter of pride for the legend. Thus, under his leadership, the British swimming team has performed remarkably over the last two Olympics!

As a matter of fact, the performance of the Great Britain Swimming Team at Rio 2016 has been the most successful since the year 1908. With a grand total of 6 medals (1 gold, 5 silvers), Rio saw Great Britain’s swimmers create history.

What do the loved ones have to say for Maurice?

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Back in the year 2017, Maurice decided to appoint Jack Buckner as CEO. Experiencing sorrow, he said, “I have been fortunate to experience Maurice’s personal dignity and humility. He has been a leader of deep wisdom and patient intelligence, the wise steward at the heart of the sport. Even in his last days, his total focus was on Tokyo and the great events which unfolded there. Maurice, a piece of these medals belong to you. Thanks for your massive contribution to British Swimming and everything you have done for British sport.

Adding to this, the CEO of Sports from UK, Sally Munday said, “I was so saddened to hear about Maurice. My thoughts are with his family and friends. Maurice was so well known in the sporting community and the sheer variety of sports that he was involved in throughout his life goes some way to showing the impact he had on the British sporting landscape. As Chair of British Swimming, he must have been immensely proud of the success that Britain’s aquatics athletes had in Tokyo in the recent weeks. He will be sorely missed.

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The world is definitely grieving from this humongous loss. No matter where he is, we hope that he’s in a better place and that he’s resting in peace.

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Divya Chaturvedi

95 articles

Divya Chaturvedi is an Olympic Athletics author at EssentiallySports, currently pursuing her Under Graduate degree in Psychology from the University of Delhi. She's also an internationally recognized athlete, specializing in Shot Put and Discus, representing India at the International Children's Games held in Australia has been one of the biggest feats in her endeavor so far. Having participated in The Road to Wimbledon and representing the state several times, she bagged a number of titles for the same.

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