Ulster and Irish swimming is in mourning following the death of one of the sport’s great characters, George Morrow.
Along with Nelson Lindsay, George produced a conveyor belt of champions at the Ards club for over 20 years, including Andrew Bree, Karen Marshall, Gail Hamilton and his own son Richard.
George, who had been suffering from cancer, will be remembered as a true gentleman, someone who could inspire swimmers to great heights and who always had the interest of his athletes at heart.
Tributes have been flowing in since the news broke.
Ards president Barney Bree — father of Andrew — said: “George was a quiet man but he is one of the main reasons that the Ards club is in such a healthy state. His coaching partnership with Nelson was second to none.
“Together they did wonders at the club. Just last month we had a tribute night for George and the place was packed and that said it all about just how highly he was regarded by everyone in Ulster swimming.”
Ards member and current Ulster development officer Ruth McQuillan said the passing of George has “left a massive void” at the North Down club.
Ruth added: “George will be sorely missed by everyone at Ards and in Ulster swimming as a whole. Right up through the summer even though he wasn’t feeling the best he was at the galas.
“He had an incredible commitment to the club and together with Nelson they made so many champions. There was hardly a day went by without the two of them speaking about how the swimmers were developing.”
George went as head coach on many Ulster and Irish trips and is fondly remembered by former Swim Ireland president Betty Beattie.
“George was a real stalwart of Irish swimming. He was great on trips away, it was all about the swimmers for George.”
Current swimming star Sycerika McMahon tweeted: “To an amazing swim coach who taught me when I was younger. He believed in everyone and was truly amazing. Rest well George. Thank you.”
George, in his late 70s, is survived by wife Avril and sons Richard, David and John.