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Swim stalwart Derek Stubbs dies, aged 82
11:02am Tuesday 22nd March 2011 in Swimming
Derek Stubbs pictured presenting a cheque for the £1,365 raised to Bob Smailes, of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance
YORK’S Derek Stubbs, a leading figure in British swimming for three decades, has died in York Hospital after a long illness, aged 82.
The former York City Baths Club coach and secretary was the Amateur Swimming Association’s first national director of swimming.
York-born Stubbs, who had suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease for five years, devoted his life to the sport after learning to swim at the age of eight at St George’s Baths near Skeldergate Bridge.
He competed in local and county galas and coached under the then York City Baths Club chief coach Lonz Webster.
He served as secretary of the club from 1948 to 1969, and was heavily involved in the club’s glory days of the 1950s when they produced a host of national and international stars.
From 1959 to 1969 he was chief coach at the club, coaching several Olympic, European and Commonwealth Games swimmers, and was made a life member.
He was championship secretary of the Yorkshire ASA from 1954 to 1958 and secretary of the county technical swimming committee from 1958 to 1963.
In 1968, he was made president of the Yorkshire ASA. Stubbs was also president of the North East Counties ASA in 1980.
He was also a water polo player, representing York and Yorkshire for 16 years from 1947.
Stubbs was educated at Manor Higher Grade School for Boys and York Technical College before taking up a four-and-a-half year apprenticeship at Shepherd Building Group.
On 1969, he left Shepherds to work full-time in swimming, and his first appointment was as national technical officer, a position he held for five years.
Stubbs was swimming development officer for the City of Leeds from 1974 to 1985 and general manager of Leeds International Pool from 1980 to 1984.
He was chief coach for the England team at the 1970 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh.
From 1988 to 1992, he was secretary of the world amateur governing body, Federation Internationale De Natation Amateur (FINA) for the World Cup, being awarded the prestigious silver pin by FINA for Services to World Swimming in 1996.
He was appointed the first ASA director of swimming in 1986 and held the post until his retirement in 1993.
On his 80th birthday – October 20, 2008 – he swam 80 lengths, raising £1,395 for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
Stubbs, a member of Fulford Golf Club, leaves his wife of 45 years, Kath, and sons Martin, Andrew and Richard. A thanksgiving service will be held at St Aelred’s Church, Fifth Avenue, York, on Monday, March 28, at 2pm.
- Malcolm Huntington