Brighton Swimming Club’s chairman of 25 years has died.

John Ottaway, 65, passed away on Tuesday afternoon (December 18) after being diagnosed with sclerosis of the liver several years ago.

He stepped down as chairman of the club last year as his health declined.

He was enrolled in Brighton Swimming Club (SC) by his parents when he was just a week old.

His mother Maudie was for many years the leading light at Brighton Ladies SC, which eventually evolved into Brighton Dolphin SC.

A well-known water polo player, he played for Shiverers in the National League in the 1970s and took part in national trials.

He was also involved with several areas of the club’s disciplines, including competitive swimming, surf lifesaving and diving.

Highly regarded

In his late 30s he had his first heart bypass operation, which enabled him to return to water polo for a number of years.

He took up polo refereeing and became very highly regarded.

At the end of his water polo career he turned his attention to being an administrator of competitive swimming.

He took on the job of chairman of Brighton swimming club in 1986 when the previous chairman Bill Tuppen died suddenly.

In a tribute the club’s committee wrote: “It’s no coincidence that the club’s increasing profile in this arena has been during his chairmanship. His support for the coaching staff was exemplary.”

John took early retirement from BT when he was 50 and was able to dedicate more time to the club, implementing new systems for running galas.

He served as county president for the Sussex County Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) in 2000 and in 2012 he was presented with an ASA Regional Award to mark the many years’ service given to the club and county.

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