Mansfield swim star Becky hails former coach after Queen’s honour

Rebecca Adlington poolside with her then coach Bill Furniss.
Rebecca Adlington poolside with her then coach Bill Furniss.

Mansfield swimming star Rebecca Adlington has hailed her former coach after he was honoured by the Queen.

Bill Furniss, British Swimming head coach, has been made an OBE in recognition of his “services to swimming”.

And former The Brunts School pupil Becky, who won gold in the 400m and 800m freestyle events at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 and bronze in the same events at the London Olympics four years later, Tweeted: “Such amazing news. Congratulations Bill. So deserved and a long time coming.”

Bill was recognised in the Queen’s birthday honours after leading the British swimming coaching staff and athletes to Great Britain’s most successful Olympics for more than 100 years at the Rio 2016 Olympic.

Bill, who was head coach at Mansfield’s Nova Centurion swimming club before taking up the national role in 2013, said: “This is a surprise because we do what we do for the love of the sport and not for awards.

“It is a massive honour but is one I feel should be shared due to the progress made by British Swimming in the past four years under the leadership of Chris Spice and myself. We’ve worked well together as a team and collectively achieved some wonderful results so I feel this should be an honour shared.

“I’ve had a long career in swimming and many people, including my family, have contributed so much along the way.

“There have been some very proud moments for me personally and working with Becky and winning four Olympic medals, including two Olympic titles, is among the most memorable.”