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2021 News

LEN mourns Maurice Watkins

The LEN Family learnt with immense sadness the passing of Maurice Watkins, Chairman of British Swimming and Chair of the LEN Legal Committee.

Mr Watkins was one of the longest serving chairmen in the LEN Family, an outstanding professional who had a key role in reshaping LEN’s legal background and adjusting its rules and regulations to the highest standards under the tenure of President Paolo Barelli.

In a letter written to British Swimming, chaired by Mr Watkins since 2012, Mr Barelli emphasised, „through this role he provided LEN with excellent advice and attended many LEN Bureau meetings and events with me and developed friendships with many people inside LEN. I also have witnessed the developments in British Swimming after a disappointing London Olympics in 2012 and with his leadership you have improved so impressively in Rio 2016 and some staggering results in Tokyo 2020.

Talking on Mr Watkins, a personal friend of the LEN President, Mr Barelli added that “Maurice was a great person, his kindness towards his friends couldn’t have been any deeper, at the same time he was a true professional both as a sport official and as a professor of law, who offered a never-ceasing support for the LEN Family.”

Before his time with British Swimming and European Aquatics, Maurice was a director at Manchester United FC for 28 years. He was head of sport law for Brabners Solicitors in Manchester, as well as taking in roles as interim chairman of the Rugby Football League in 2012, Barnsley FC chairman for four years and as a director of Lancashire County Cricket Club. Maurice was made a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list of 2011 for his services to charity.

In these heart-breaking moments, our thoughts are with Mr Watkins’ family and friends, as well as with the British swimming family.