A TALENTED body shop worker and championship winning water polo player has been remembered.

Dennis Edwards, from Hove, died at the age of 79 on March 24.

He passed away after battling cancer, which he had beaten, but caused his health to deteriorate.

Dennis was born in Hove on July 13, 1938, to Leslie Edwards and Bertha Edwards.

He was educated at Hove Manor School, where his love of swimming developed, while also being coached by George Eley.

While in school, Dennis also got involved in a variety of other sports, playing for the school’s football and cricket team.

Over the years as his sporting talent evolved, he went on to win a number of competitions and medals, winning a breast stroke race in one minute and 39 seconds at the age of 13.

He showed a great dedication to swimming from a young age and would often be up at 5am to train.

He was also a talented athlete and had great success competing in the high jump.

One of Dennis’s favourite activities was water polo.

He went on to win the All England Water Polo Championship in 1956, which was one of his proudest sporting achievements.

His only child, Kevin, recalls him not having enough money to call his mother and father at the time to tell them about his success at the event.

Dennis trained as a body shop worker at the Southdown Central Works in Portslade before leaving to carry out his national service.

He signed up to join the Army in the late 1950s, serving in the Royal Sussex Regiment.

He was stationed in Gibraltar for a while, where he could often be seen enjoying a dip in the pool.

After leaving the Army, Dennis returned to Central Works for a short period before going on to gain more experience building truck bodies at P D Wharfage in Shoreham.

He began working for Brighton Corporation Transport in 1980, developing his body craft skills at its depot in Lewes Road, Brighton.

Dennis loved the challenge of body craft and his son recalls him saying, “look at my hands, they can do anything”.

He also focused on building his relationship with Ellen “Betty” Wright once he left the forces. The couple met in a park when he broke his leg and she went to his aid.

He married her soon after and they spent 57 years living happily together before Dennis died.

After years of competing in water polo tournaments all over the UK for the Shiverers Swimming Club, he went on to teach children from Benfield Juniors School at the King Alfred Leisure Centre in Hove.

With a long and successful career working at the Lewes Road depot, Dennis also became involved in the trade union movement and was one of the first employee directors on the board of Brighton Transport Ltd.

He lived with his family in Portslade for 40 years, before moving to Southwick last year.

Dennis retired after 22 and a half years at the Lewes Road Depot.

He was a keen gardener in his later years and was still as active as ever.

Before he died, Dennis was admitted to The Beeches care home in Worthing.

His dying wish was for The Argus to publish a picture of his old water polo team which won the All England Water Polo Championship in 1956 in the hope of finding out what they have done since.

He is survived by his wife Ellen and son Kevin.

His funeral was held last month.

If you recognise anyone in the water polo team pictured above, please contact news@theargus.co.uk.