Alan Watson

A former Olympic rower who was given one of the highest accolades in the sport has died after spending his last years in Sheringham.

A former Olympic rower who was given one of the highest accolades in the sport has died after spending his last years in Sheringham.

Alan Watson, aged 77, represented England at the Commonwealth Games in 1954 and won a silver medal in the eights.

He went on to represent Great Britain at the European Games of 1955 and the Olympic Games of 1956, rowing in the eight in both competitions.

A woodwork and technical drawing department head, he kept his Olympic achievements quiet and was a teacher and churchgoer with forthright views.


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Born in 1929, he was educated at Latymer Upper School, Hammersmith and Westminster College, University of London.

He ran the craft department at Latymer until 1974 before moving on to Haileybury College, Hertfordshire, from where he retired in 1989.

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In 1981 he was elected the ultimate rowing honour, a stewardship of the Henley Royal Regatta, and he is credited with enabling the University of London Rowing Club to achieve the leading position it holds in British rowing today because of his coaching there.

With his wife, June, a piano teacher, he retired to the Yorkshire Dales, where he was a churchwarden and organised annual art exhibitions, before moving to Sheringham in July 2003, where they both regularly attended St Peter's Church.

Their recreational interests included visiting stately homes and gardens and walking.

Mrs Watson said: "He was everything to me. He was a good upright man with forthright views, morally and in every other respect. He said what he thought."

A funeral service will be held on Thursday, at 12.45pm, at St Peter's Church in Sheringham with a cremation at St Faith's at 2pm.

He leaves his wife and two children.

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