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Obituary: Colin Fagan – former president of Lymington Rowing Club who was an ‘inspirational’ coach

Colin Fagan
Colin Fagan

LYMINGTON Rowing Club president Colin Fagan, who spent more than two decades with the organisation, has died aged 81.

Colin, who joined the club in the early 1990s, coached both crews and individuals to success at regional, national and world levels.

He was also instrumental in securing funding to enable the club to relocate to its current facility within the town’s Lymington Shores development.

Alongside several other members of the club, he spent many years working with local developers and councils before finally securing the move from its former site at Nelson Place.

Colin was born in Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire in 1939 and educated at Sir William Borlase School in Marlow, where he was introduced to rowing. He later joined the Marlow Rowing Club and went on to become captain.

He married Mary in 1963 and they had two children: Katherine and Nicholas. In 1979 the family moved to Pilley where Colin continued in his role as a quantity surveyor and estimator.

Arriving at Lymington Rowing Club, Colin took on coaching crews with his unique style, using simple analogies to describe complex movements in the stroke.

A spokesperson for the club said: “Colin was always seen as being the senior coach and was inspirational not only with the crews he coached but also with the other coaches.

“His methods and training regime soon spread through the club. This led to the club adopting a far more professional approach to its training and with it came success.

“He was selfless, a true gentleman and an indispensable club member. He will be sadly missed.”

Colin worked closely with another club member to develop a new carbon fibre boat and mould, which was then taken up by a commercial boat builder who produced at least 30 boats from it for other clubs.

Colin also had the foresight to set up an agreement with the boat builder for the club to receive commission for each boat taken from the mould, which resulted in much needed funds.

He also played a part in the wider rowing scene, as a long-standing member of the Wessex and South East Regional Rowing Council.

From 2005 Colin was also heavily involved in organising the South Coast Rowing Championships Regatta. The event is the finale to the rowing season for the three rowing associations along the south coast and attracts up to 1,000 rowers.

The Lymington Rowing Club spokesperson added: “His passion for the sport was obvious and he never seemed to be happier than being out on the water, regardless of the weather, with loudhailer in hand, giving instruction to a crew.

“He was respected by all those who knew him. He will be missed not only for his knowledge and hard work but most of all for his friendship.”

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, a private funeral was held on Tuesday. Donations in Colin’s memory can be made to Cancer Research through F.W House & Sons, Lymington.

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