Seymour Banning

A veteran Norfolk swimmer who continued to compete and win in his 70s has died in hospital.

A veteran Norfolk swimmer who continued to compete and win in his 70s has died in hospital.

Born in Trinidad, Mr Banning was what his family describe as a "water baby" having loved to swim since he was a youngster.

He came to England at the age of 14 and met his wife, Sue, when the pair studied at Bristol University together.

While living in Surrey he played water polo and swam competitively for the Kingston Club up to National Championship level but when the family, now including three children - David, Delia and Stephen - moved to Norfolk in 1971 Mr Banning's busy life took over.

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He was a principal lecturer in accounts, tourism and economics at City College, Norwich for 30 years before he retired.

Mr Banning, who lived in Colney, near Norwich, encouraged his children to swim with the Norwich Penguins but it was not until he was 50 that he got back into the water to train for the Masters, which are held all over the world and are banded in five year age groups.

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He soon started winning various British records and then went global. In 1984 he won the World 200m butterfly in Toronto, in 1986 he won the World 200m butterfly in Tokyo and in 1991 he won the European 200m butterfly in Britain.

Mr Banning, who trained at the UEA Sports Park, also won races in Montreal, Casablanca and Denmark to name a few.

He helped form the East Anglia Swallow Tails with fellow veteran swimmer Jane Asher in 1987 - named after a butterfly, which was one of his interests outside of swimming along with DIY.

Swimming continued to be a major part of his life right up until he was 72 and he was still in training when he had a stroke that left him unable to continue with the sport he loved.

Mr Banning, a Christian Scientist since boyhood, died at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on June 9, aged 74.

A funeral will be held at Colney Woodland Burial Park, Watton Road on June 21 at 2pm.

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