Gerry Thain Tributes...  Posted via Facebook

Gerry Thain MBE (FGT) 1926 - 2013

Gentleman, Inspirational Coach, Legend.

Donations to Gerry’s favourite charity “Medecin Sans Frontieres” are most welcome and can be made online here...


BBC WM Interview with Mike Le Resche: MP3 version Click Here... Version for iDevices in M4a format: Click Here...

BBC WM SPotY TV sequence 2008 - Click Here...             BBC WM Radio Interview - Click here...


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Dearest Gerry, I was thinking about you today, but thought it was more important that Laura and Jack attended your memorial service, so I looked after the children for them whilst they attended. I wish that my Granddaughters had had the benefit of your knowledge, but I am thankful that Laura will pass on to them everything that you taught her. You have had a very busy and eventful life, so now its time for you to rest in peace. You will never be forgotten by your immense network of non blood family.

Unfortunately I can't make the 'Celebration of life service' as I am on a family holiday. Even though I'm not there in body I am in mind and recalling fond memories of the the great man.


A poem I wrote for the great man when I was 9 or 10 years old came back to me today.....
Plodding up and down I thought I'd die
Back then breast, crawl then fly
I've finished those 20 lengths at last
Now those lengths are in the past
BUT..."FOUR MORE", yelled Mr Thain
So off I went again down the lane....

From 1979 I have enjoyed every minute I have spent in the pool despite any 200 fly protestations largly due to Gerry's charisma and encouragement. Like many others at Camp Hill Edwardians I still have a great love of swimming and a great love for my swimming club. Very few people will ever say that after so many years but again this is wholly due to Gerry's motivation and ability to hold us all together and gather his troops for the big events.
I was very lucky to attend Camp Hill School and find my self part of this great family.
Gerry, I will treasure the many memories I have of our times together and thank you for your strength and encouragement all my life. RIP x

The first time of meeting Mr G Thain was at Moseley Road Baths in 1967 on taking my two sons Jeremy and Mark for training session.This tall upright gentleman entered a cubicle picked up a handbell stood at the end of the pool rang just once .The pool had contained 30 to 40 children/ teenagers having a roitous time instantly the pool cleared. Every swimmer taking their place in their respective lanes .This is the awe and respect that the swimmers had for Gerry Thain including myself.We shall never forget you Gerry .R.I.P. Ray and Thea shimell

Thought I'd wait until I could see the screen without blurry eyes before writing.....FAIL.....Gerry has been my only coach, for over 40 years. Every length I've ever swum (which wasn't probably enough) he's been there in some way. From day 1 at Monument Road, through watching my then Olympic hero Martin Edwards training at the brand new pool (I still remember Gerry shouting 'Take your Marks...Ice Cream' instead of 'GO' for some bizarre reason), to his unbelievable resilience and international support for Masters; he's taught me so much about swimming and myself, values that I'm proud to pass on to my children and the swimmers I help to coach. We're all grieving now, but we've been the lucky ones, to have been on the receiving end of a 'GOOD' and, as we matured, a handshake and a hug. The world is a better place for FGT, in spite of his terrible writing. We'll never forget you, Gerry, thank you so much for everything.

So many memories we all have. Apart from Gerry teaching PE in his suit to me and always getting a hard time at school from him. I remember us in the top lane some session having a running tally of the number of goods you could get, via a fast finish etc. needless to say the winner rarely scored above 3. I think we all agree Gerry had a unique way of coaching which brought the best out of us all. He was hard but fair. That is easily enough for us to follow in life, a trait he had in abundance. For me, as I ventured into coaching others, it was the mutual respect that was always there, which is rare in the coaching world.
God bless you Gerry, RIP

A gentle and kind man who looked after me during my short spell training at Camp hill in the late 90s. More recently regularly chatted with Gerry at masters galas where he always took an interest in what swims I was doing. He will be missed.


So sorry to hear the news of Mr Thain's passing, he was an absolute gentleman and someone I will always think about with a smile on my face. I will never forget my first session at Camphill the conversation went something like this:
Mr Thain - I would like you to do 10 - 25's
Me- You want me to swim 25 lengths 10 times??
Mr Thain - No, I want you to swim 1 length 10 times!
I won't go into how we worked out how much rest I had in between.
Rest in peace Mr Thain - Steve (Richard) Dunn

well mr thain as promised i got back in the pool. i surprised myself as still do 50 fly under 34sec! miss you mr thain but will always try to make you proud!! xxxx


I wish i could find the words to express the admiration i have for the man i called "Mr.Thain" until i was invited to call him Gerry. A gentle man and a true gentleman. I miss you Mr.Thain x


R.I.P Gerry, you were a true gentleman. You always chatted to me at gala's when I was an official. and always asked after Laura, Jack and James, when I saw you. It was lovely to visit you, your wife, and your lovely puddy cats, a few years ago, at your home. You always reminded me of Mr Chipps Chipping. Had no children of your own, but were a father figure to lots of them, including mine. Its a shame that my Granddaughters will not have the benefit of your knowledge. Massive respect, you will be sorely missed by hundreds.

The world has seemed a much colder and emptier place over the last four days knowing that Gerry was not around somewhere waving his clipboard and shouting "KICK" at the top of his lungs with every side breath of a swimmer somewhere...
I know of several swimmers of my generation that would like to pay their respects and say a final good bye to the man who inspired, transformed and guided them through their youth and beyond.
Could someone please, when it has been arranged, post the details of the funeral so we can attend.
Many thanks

Rest in Peace, Mr scared the living daylights out of me back in 1975 trying to teach me to tumble turn at Moseley baths......Katie (Long) x


Mr Thain, aquatics legend, motivator, friend, thank you for everything. Rest in peace.


thank you for being my Coach Mr Thain; your kindness to me, your determination, poise and wry sense of humour will always remain with me, like many others.
love, dave x

Just wanted to say a Couple of things about my time with Gerry.
He was a very kind, generous, gentleman that always tried his best to help you out with any problem you had. He will be remembered as a legend in the sport of swimming in the UK. We will miss you Gerry, thank you for your dedication to so many swimmers and friends.
Good bless you Gerry xxx

RIP Gerry what a true inspiration you have been to many of us x


A true gentleman and such an inspiration. Thanks to Gerry I have achieved so much in the world of police swimming. The 1st Camp Hill session I did many years ago was so tough it took me nearly a year before I returned. Gerry remembered me & said, "maybe you should take it a little easier this time!" I have been swimming for 20 years since then. Due to family commitments I only returned to Camp Hill in Sept last year. I am so privileged to have known this great man & have met so many inspirational people, I thank u all. God bless you Gerry xx


At the end of life, what really matters is not what we bought but what we built; not what we got but what we shared; not our competence but our character; and not our success, but our significance. Live a life that matters. Live a life of love.
Missing you already Mr Thain x


What a remarkable man! I've never known anyone with such a natural ability to command the respect of young people. Always dignified and modest ("I've always got a lot more out of it than I've put in to it" - how could that possibly be the case?!) and a real gentleman.
His catchphrases and mannerisms are still etched on my brain despite 12+ years having passed since I swam for Camp Hill: his slightly stooped march down poolside, occasionally flinging his arm out, pointing at me and booming "Kick!". How he would always approach the end of the lane to deliver the next piece of work with "Right, ok" or, an often welcome, "Last piece of work!".
Thanks for everything, Mr Thain, your kindness and generosity must have touched many, many thousands of lives. I can safely say that all your mentees have certainly got a lot more out of it than we've put into it!

Saddened to hear the news about Gerry. I have been involved with camp hill since 1971 and Gerry was always a permanent fixture- I am sure he was starting to warm to water polo in his later years. I enjoyed my banter with him every Monday night. A 'big man' in every way-certainly a swimming coach legend!!


So sorry to hear of Gerry's passing .On a trip back from USA I had the chance along with my 3 daughters to attend a few training sessions . It was quite a surreal experience to be swimming along seeing them under the lane ropes , with Gerry coaching us all .Still wonder how they got to call him Gerry & I was still calling him Mr Thain ! Wonderful memories . Thanks Gerry X


Mr Thain..where do I start?..
Kind, caring, hardworking and always willing to help others achieve their goals, however great or small. The club will not be the same without his witty sense of humour, his bellowing voice and his endless dedication, but we must continue to make him proud. I'm sure that Mr Thain would wish us to remember the fantastic times we all shared with him, and dwell on those happy memories. 
On a personal level he was like a grandfather to me, someone who was always prepared to take the time out to help me, always put a smile on my face and always believed in me (200fly's were proof of that) for that I cannot thank him enough. 
Thank you Mr Thain for all of the wonderful memories, love and support. You will be greatly missed, but however hard it is to lose such a fantastic person, I feel at ease in the knowledge that you can now be reunited with the love of your life. 
May you and Mary rest in peace together. 
Love always, 
Jai xxx

Gerry - why are you not swimming? 
Me - I'm just so tired! 
Gerry - why? You only cut paper for a living!!! 
The man was one of a kind.....he had to be to put up with me (he would say!) xxx

When the pool was shut with the leak ellie went to bromsgrove on a thursday to try a club! I had a little girl in tears who didn't think she was good enough but by the end of the first session she had a huge grin - her second week aged 8 she was the only one in her lane and Gerry asked her to do things I would never have dreamed possible so the next week she was in a gala!
a couple of months later she was swimming with Beth Luckman Amy and Becky straw in the warwickshires they won a bronze in the relays. I had no idea what was going on but two days of sitting next to Gerry at the city of Birmingham meet at easter taught me what a special man he was and how good he was with children to get the best out of them - a real talent and a true inspirer of people

When telling Mr Thain I was engaged to David.... "What are you marrying him for " ??


Mr Francis Gerry Thain (MBE) 1926 - 2013
So...where do I start? That's the question!
I have SO SO SO many memories and even more to say about the legend of all legends...I am going to have to shorten it as best as I can. So here it goes...
Starting CHESC at the age of 7 and meeting Mr Thain (not Gerry...always Mr Thain) not knowing that this hobby would build into so much more than just a swimming club. Thanks to Mr Thain it has been one of, if not the best experience of my life. I have met the most amazing people and best friends through this most inspirational club. The whole addiction of swimming at the club must have started when Jodie Leresche, Hope Weaver, Emily Link and I whipped ass in every single one of our age 9 relay races at Rugby. That is when to me the journey began...
Mr Thain was a great man and his inspiration to us all was just immense. The time and effort he put into the club was priceless, his dedication and love for the club is something that will never be forgotten and will live on in us all. This great man had a massive influence on my chosen career ambition and has shaped who I am as a person.
I just love the way he knew every single swimmer's personal bests for every event, whether you swam once in a blue moon (like me! ha!) or if you swam every day of the week. A few of my memories: the first being the fact that whenever I train/trained, ever since the day I started at the club it was always me getting into trouble!! Even if I was talking to friends or literally just having my allocated rest in between sets I would still get shouted at: "Saaaaraaaah" in his deep tone of voice. But the fact of the matter is I will miss being told off by him and will always remember that.
Also, I still tell people about the story when we were at Heather and Pete's BBQ, I was sat one end of the table and Mr Thain at the other. I'm chatting away to my mum and all of a sudden I feel something hit my leg under the table so I look under and in my surprise I see Mr Thain's walking stick. I look up and all I see is Mr Thain giggling to himself as if he was really proud of himself lol had me in stitches!! I was literally crying! Bless him! I don't know how the hell he reached me from where he was sitting!
Finally, I am still in shock at the amount of people that have taken their time to visit Mr Thain and support him every step of the way. He will always be known for the way he is naturally invincible! Mr Thain is like a super hero that just has that strength to go on and on and on and on no matter what.
Goodbye to my boss; my coach; a true hero; friend; grandad and all time legend ♥
Love you Mr Thain
May he rest in peace with his wonderful wife Mary Thain
CHESC family ♥
Sarah xxx

Mr Thain shouts me to go into the poolside office " lauraaaa ( in his scary meaningful voice ) I've got something for you and hands me a curled up huge dead spider. * argh! 
Also was told many of times if I wasted time about spider in the pool much longer he would put one in my bag! 
Mr Thain once told me I was bigger " Mr Thain you calling me fat ?? He replied No just think of the extra power you will have! ( I'd not long gave birth! ) 
Remember at a bath comp he was introducing me to coach that were all coming over to talk to him and he said this is Laura " she has potential but she's a waster " I felt great :/ haha 
Yes Charlotte I was the was picked out by us all to be the one to ask him " if he could swim " I never did have the guts to find out !!lol 
So many funny memories !!

I was devastated to hear the news that Mr Thain has passed away. He will be greatly missed by everyone one who has had the pleasure to know him.
I started at Camp Hill when I was seven years old and it was Mr Thain and the team of friends and fellow swimmers that cemented my passion for swimming. I was always so proud to be a member of the team and the Camp Hill Edwardians family.
Mr Thain taught me that with hard work (lots and lots of hard work) anything is possible when you put your mind to it. He has contributed enormously to the world of swimming and has touched the lives of so many people. 
It always amazed me how Mr Thain could say so much and yet speak so little; his cheeky smile, the point of a finger, the single word "good" and how he would turn the lights out when it was time to hurry up in the changing rooms haha. I have so many fond memories of my time at the club that frequently make me smile and this is largely thanks to Mr Thain.
He was and always will be a truly inspirational man.
Hope x

So so sad to hear this news. R.I.P Gerry....I will never forget my days swimming for Camp Hill x


‎"You're starting to swim a lot less like a hippopotamus now, John"....Summed up the man, really. A hard taskmaster, a man with high standards, but a man determined to extract the best from all his swimmers, however old we were and this sentence was tinged with the humour we all loved him for. 
I only swam with CHESC for 5 years or so, but I arrived (admittedly) swimming like a hippopotamus and within three years I came second in my heat in the Leamington Masters. Hardly comparable with the achievements of many club members, but at 19 stone in weight and the wrong side of 40 years old it was more than I ever expected. My style is unrecognisable compared to when I arrived, but sadly I could never get my stamina to the levels I would like to in order to progress further. That's age, I guess...
Gerry improved an old hippopotamus like me, as well as all other swimmers who were lucky enough to swim for him. I said a prayer for him in church yesterday morning, before I heard the news of his passing, and I don't mind admitting I shed a few tears last night when I read Mike's note. Like many others I will be having a whisky tonight in his honour.
Rest in peace, Gerry. Thank you for your coaching. It was my privilege to have known you. 
John x

My sister to Mr Thain "Mr Thain can you swim" Gerrys response ... "Push me in and see" !!!! Needless to say she declined !!


My deepest condolences go out to all the friends of Gerry, only knew him for less than a year but was always a gentleman


What sad news of Gerry, but what an amazing swimming family he has who have shown their love for him via the internet and Facebook. It has been very moving.


R.I.P Mr Thain. A truly inspirational man and an amazing coach who I owe so much too. You will be missed.


‎"Karen, I find myself in need of a new club secretary"
"Oh dear Mr Thain, what are you going to do?"
" I believe you are going to do a great job Karen!" Cheeky grin
"Oh......pause........oh ok Mr Thain"
Why? Why could I not say no???

Camp Hill Swimming Club will always be in my blood. Gerry is in the heart. God Bless x


Colossians 3:12-14 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.


‎"Jaimee" he shouted it's the finals soon... it's important and I need you to help me".
"What can I do?"...
"Get me a coffee"
Memories xx

‎"I'm pleased you're joining, but just remember we're a competitive swimming club, not a crèche".


‎"Mike, those two boys are not concentrating, tell them to come over here"... "which one's Gerry?"... "the plump one's Mike".
Love you Gerry


Just heard the very sad news that Gerry passed away today. He truly was an inspiration to so many of us, a true gentleman and a fantastic swim coach.
Originally from Huddersfield, I joined Camp Hill in 1979, whilst attending Aston University. I thought that I would just swim for Camp Hill for the four years and then return to Huddersfield and that would be it. How wrong could I have been!
Thanks Gerry for a lifetime of swimming, fun, friendship and inspiration. You were a coach beyond compare.
May you Rest In Peace
Simon (Canada)

Simply the best and irreplaceable, taught our son David so much "When swimming freestyle as in life keep your head down and your eyes wide open" Never forgotten words after 20 years or more. Went on to Captain Cambridge University-4 Blues all down to FGT and like so many still swims-Masters- but now in Nova Scotia, Canada.
Rest in Peace Gerry.
Graham-Kath and David Woodhall
Nova Scotia-Canada

Good Night Gerry, sleep well and GodSpeed


A sad sad day. Mr T will be sadly missed by many but fondly remembered by many more. RIP Mr T


Mr Thain. 
I cannot begin to express to you how grateful I am that some years ago Kate Chase recommended my family and I join a small (but mighty) club in Kings Heath called Camp Hill Edwardians. 
Little did we know what an incredible journey we would be embarking on and that we would be welcomed into a family who would be bonded for life. The Father of this great family was, of course, our dear Mr Thain. A man who never overlooked a single swimmer and saw talent where others would not. He would never put any athlete on a pedestal, and shared his attention between the youngest newcomer right up to his polished Olympians. His commitment to both his great club and each individual within it was absolute and unwavering. 
My fondest quality of Mr Thain however was his unparalleled patience. This great man never gave up on me and believed in me in times when even I did not believe in myself. Even in his early 80s Mr Thain squeezed himself into a tiny sports car and blasted up the motorway with Dad just to make sure he didn't miss an important race. His commitment to me and so many others at Camp Hill is something which can be described as nothing other than Saintly. His love and dedication to us all is something that will be cherished forever and never forgotten. 
I still remember in mild disbelief the fact that Mr T knew every single one of our PBs even if we did not remember them ourselves! He truly was a rare jewel.
I hope you know just how loved you are Mr Thain because the warm glow you have left behind on us all is something which will never fade. 
Sleep well Mr T, I could never have wished for a greater coach, mentor, grandfather and friend.
Love always, rest in peace
Jodie xx

Gerry once told me he gave up teaching when you could no longer hit the children. He then proceeded to tell me the best way to inflict pain on a wayward boy.... Use a plimsoll. Love your sense of humour Mr T. God bless sleep well.


Found out earlier this evening that Gerry had passed away. Wanted to write something immediately, but didn't feel I could do it justice on a phone, so decided to wait until I got in.
I had already competed at the Warwickshire Championships for Westminster Handsworth, and Triple SSS for around 15 or 16 years. I had known who Gerry was and was so proud of the fact that as an elder swimmer in terms of the county championships that Gerry would say hello to me. It meant, he actually knew who I was, then in 1998, when I needed a club to train with in the build up to the World Masters Championships in Morocco, I got the opportunity to train with Camp Hill. 15 years later, I feel immensely grateful for the time i've had with Gerry and Camp Hill Edwardians. 
Gerry over time built something very special which has really shown itself over the past few weeks. It really is a family as well as a competitive swimming club. We may all come from different area's of the country and indeed the world with Craig and Clive etc, but we're all for one and one for all to see our club at the top, and to try and get a Gooooooood from Gerry.
Now sat in bed in tears reading all of the amazing heartfelt messages for a great man, I am bound to say just 2 words, those being 'Thank you'!!!!

What heartfelt messages from everyone. Reading through them makes you realise what a great man he was.
Like everyone else Mr Thain (he’ll always be Mr Thain to me, I was never formally invited to call him Gerry as the rules were relaxed by this stage) has massively shaped my life; whether directly or indirectly via the extended Camp Hill family.
Those outside of Camp Hill or those who weren't fortunate enough to know him didn't quite understand the pull/power he had, "you're travelling over 100 miles to swim because your coach asked you?" - "yes, I have no excuse people are coming from California and Geneva."
There really is no-one else quite like him. He was a true inspiration and he leaves an incredible legacy behind him. I feel extremely fortunate to have had him (and Camp Hill – it’s difficult to separate the two) in my life. Thank you Mr Thain.

May god bless and look after you Gerry, I am so sad that you have left us but so pleased and honoured to have been part of your family for a while. You were a great man that will remembered for all the joy and humour that you bought to our lives and the investment that you made in us and in our children, all of our lives are richer for knowing you - thank you. I am pleased and take comfort that your final days were peaceful and you were surrounded by your swimming family and knew how much you were loved. I am very sad right now but I know that I will feel the joy and celebration of your life through the many heartfelt posts on your site. God bless Gerry one of our best men has moved on but your spirit will live on forever. Love Marie Louisa Rebecca and David xx

I'm not a swimmer, (can you tell) yet even I am moved to shed more than a tear or two at the passing of this truly wonderful man.
Like many people on here, I really only started coming to Camp Hill Swimming Club for one reason. Unlike many people though, my reason was because as it was the only way I could get to spend time with the new love of my life. No not Gerry, Bev Glenn!
As well as her children Elliott and Hannah swimming, she was one of his coaches and for some reason or other, she never seemed able to say no to him. I even remember joking with him several times about what aftershave he wore in the hope it would work for me! Every night of the week and galas or meets at the weekend, it was always swimming this and swimming that.
The trouble was, he very soon had the same effect on me. His affable charm and winning smile, (not to mention his wicked sense of humour) would always ALWAYS win you over. If Gerry asked you to do anything such as organising a team, collecting funds, giving him a lift, even assisting in training by taking a lane or helping at a gala, I often found myself saying yes before I'd truly thought about what I'd been asked to do. I know I'm not alone in this either. Somehow and for some reason saying "Of course Gerry" always felt the right thing to do and, when he said his usual one word response of "Goooood", even I was encouraged!
When it was finally time for Elliott to move on to other challenges, we all went to see Gerry at his home, dreading the discussion with him. Not because of fear of his anger (I never ever saw him truly angry) but it just felt like we were letting him down and deserting him. He had also only just come out of hospital from his toe operation, yet, with his usual good grace and charm and like the gentleman he was, he not only accepted the Elliott's need to move on but positively encouraged it. I however, never assisted at any other club again though despite being asked. It felt treacherous.
I shall always consider myself truly blessed to have known Mr Gerry Thain. Both as a popular, knowledgeable and dedicated swimming coach and also as the very very special person that he was. I will also forever miss our occasional lunchtime beer and chats at the Warwick's in Coventry and the Nationals in Sheffield. He and Mary may not have had any children of their own but he was definitely a father figure and massive influence to hundreds, if not thousands throughout his life and career. Children and adults alike.
Gerry, I hope that somewhere you find your Mary and that you rest peacefully wherever you are for all eternity. If anyone deserves it sir, then you of all men truly do.

It must be at least 13 years since I was last at Camp Hill pool but I still have such fond memories of my time at the club. It has all been said below already but Mr Thain was such a wonderful man-so much more than just a swimming coach. He was truly inspirational and had time for everyone. Rest in Peace.


Mr Thain you were such an amazing coach and an inspiration to everyone ! You have made a huge impact on everyone's lives and you will truly be missed !! ❤


It's all been said in the amazing & touching messages below, but Mr T you had such a huge impact on my life & I will always look back on my Camp Hill days with a huge smile on my face. Along with everyone, I will miss you Mr Thain xx


A very sad day indeed! A man who has guided so many swimmers and his club to many achievements, inside and outside the pool. Gerry's way, was respect, a believer in each of our abilities and time for everyone! I have so many fond memories of this inspirational gentleman, the last time I saw him was at Stevan Eggleton's 50th and even then he wanted me back in the pool again. When I coached he would always asked how I was getting on and willing to give me his helpful advice.
Mr. Thain, I'm saddened that we have lost you today but I know you have changed and inspired many of us and that I know you R.I.P. with many memories of your achievements!
A Legend To Us All that will surely be missed!

Just heard the sad news that Gerry passed away . He was truly loved and respected by all who knew him. A legend , who will never be forgotten. Amanda,Mia and Erin Molloy x


Gerry you were such an inspirational man, and i am very honoured and humbled to have been with you when you said goodbye. May you rest in peace along with Mary, knowing you have touched the lives of so many people in so many ways and you will never be forgotten xxx


A very SAD day today, the most amazing swim coach in the world MR GERRY THAIN MBE passed away this evening, and what an honour it was to be apart of him! RIP xxxx


What a hero, we will miss him, he was a huge influence on my life and I will never forget him. Thank god for Gerry


I'm devastated to learn of Gerry's passing. His influence on my daughters extended well beyond the pool; he gave them a sense of self worth and an appreciation of the rewards of hard work. So modest, so self deprecating and so unselfish, he touched more lives than most of us can imagine. It was an absolute pleasure and a privilege to have known him.


Mr Thain you believed in me even when others didn't. throwing ice cold water at me at 530am to hurry me into the pool i really loved :-) I'm not going to call you "my swimming coach" because that doesn't give you justice for the man who you are, our friend, our 2nd father, and a true gent. will miss you Mr Thain. sleep tight and i know you will be watching over us all rip xxxxx


I have never forgotten the day I turned up at Camp Hill to meet Mr Thain ('Gerry' still feels odd to say!)...My sister said, from that first meet, that he would 'make me or break me'.. after being told by a consultant it was unlikely I'd ever swim again, Mr Thain held my head many a time when it spun out of my control as I tried to relearn to swim with no inner ear balance system. With him I certainly proved the medical profession wrong, although I did not swim at the same speeds as before he at least gave me acceptance and hope to keep trying. Thank you Mr Thain. RIP


R.I.P Mr Gerry Thain
An amazing man who trained my brother and myself back in the early seventies and who introduced my parents to coaching and eventually running the Diddy League.
Was nothing but swimming in our house.
God bless a great man

Gerry, can't tell you how much you have shaped the girls lives (Stacey and Steffi) and not only theirs but ours too, teaching us all commitment and discipline as a family, shall miss the friendly hug and kiss and most of all always the wonderfully warm welcome. Wonderful memories, Jenny, David, Stacey and Steffi Cameron xx


RIP Gerry thankyou for everything you did, so loved & sadly missed xxx


‎"After great pain, a formal feeling comes –
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs –
The stiff Heart questions ‘was it He, that bore,’
And ‘Yesterday, or Centuries before’?

The Feet, mechanical, go round –
A Wooden way
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought –
Regardless grown,
A Quartz contentment, like a stone –

This is the Hour of Lead –
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow –
First – Chill – then Stupor – then the letting go -"

What a Man... A legend, a Hero who we all owe in some way or another!! You will be sadly missed, but never forgotten!!! Gerry Thain... Our coach!!


So sorry we didnt get there in time....Gary and I have since raised a glass to you the man who was so influencial on ours daughters lives and ours too. As a family we have very special memories....a journey home from the Nationals, car packed to the hilt, an accident on the M1 so you experienced one of Garys famous detours....many hours later you were on the phone to Mary trying to explain your where abouts...!!! Gary and I have giggled at the memory of lopping the trees in your garden under your expert guidance....trying to prevent you standing on a chair to assist us....the memories are endless and not always swimming related. Forever in our hearts lovingly remembered. xx

R.I.P Gerry , A true inspiration


So saddened to hear the news of the loss of such an amazing man, i owe so much to him and will always be very thankful. He will be missed by so many people. RIP Mr Thain xxx


Such a sad day but we are all very lucky to have had such an amazing man in our lives. I like others owe a lot to Gerry T who never gave up on me. RIP Mr Thain xxx


I know I'm probably not remembered by anyone - but it felt so good way back when 'Mr Thain' invited me to be the first female member of Camp Hill Edwardians Swimming Club - what an honour. I am so sad to hear of his passing away. My condolences to all. xx


A Prayer For My Very Dear Friend.
God of mercy, look kindly on Your servant Gerry who has set down the burden of his years. As he served You faithfully throughout his life, may You give him the fullness of Your peace and joy. We give thanks for the long life of Gerry now caught up in Your eternal love. We make our prayer in the Name of Jesus, Who is our risen Lord now and forever. Amen.
All our love, Gary, Carol & James xoxo

So sad to hear the news of Mr Thains passing, at least he is at peace now and back with Mary..... R.I.P Mr T


In 1985, encouraged and driven to the pool by Brian Burgess (along with a bunch of Worcesteshire locals) I joined Gerry Thain's Camphill Edwardians. I say 'Gerry's' because there was no doubt who the driving force was behind this outstanding and high performing club; a club consistently smashing up the local, regional and National leagues and placing the distinctive black and white onto rostrums wherever they were found. Initially I floundered, struggling to deal with the discipline and intensity, in awe of the immaculately groomed head coach with his booming voice and stern face. In time I found my mojo, quietly encouraged by the man in the corner office, occasionally winning his approval through a booming 'GOOD!' or a hard won smile. In the summer of '86 he invited me to swim mornings through the summer holidays, treating me to week after week of continual fly (my 4th and weakest stroke); I hated him for it but didn't dare to complain! That August in Leeds I won the 100m freestyle at Nationals by 0.1 secs and made the final in the 100 breast (4th) and 100 back (6th)....then I understood why he'd made me hate him so much - the fly had toughened me up! The wry smile reappeared. In more recent years I have run the gauntlet of his Masters regime; no less daunting, no less intense at times but equally rewarding. The most pleasurable part however had not been the swimming but the opportunity to get to know Gerry as a man, as a friend and as a human being. His loss is devastating to so many but his legacy will live on through the memories and stories we all have in our hearts and minds; I hope to share these and think of him often, he will remain part of me always. Love you Gerry. X

no matter how much i hated the sets, gonna miss them 5x200's fly on 3 minutes mr thain.. ♥


He was a very special man - it's a real art not needing a stop watch!


A sad day indeed...being encouraged to get back in the pool after the worlds' in Stanford gave me the chance to become re-united with Gerry on my trips back there...lots of good memories. RIP Gerry...


I may have only been your secretary for 8 years but your imprint on my heart will be there forever, a truly brilliant man , loved by all, we will miss you ❤ xx


        Phillip Edwards 

      Having known Gerry from my childhood I have known him for over 40 years and he will be sadly missed by all who knew him. But you know, he will still be looking down on those swim sessions with a keen critical eye.


RIP Mr T... A great man who will be missed by many. A sad day!


Gerry I will miss you ❤


Thank you Gerry for letting me be part of Camp Hill, it was a honour last September representing Camp Hill and being able to say you were my coach.
I might not have done my fastest swimming while at Camp Hill but I did some of my best performances wearing the black and white cap.
I promise not to breathe first stroke in April!

Gerry, we're so desperately sad to lose you. You have contributed so much in so many ways to our family since you welcomed us into your family at Camp Hill 15 years ago. Your impartial encouragement, dry humour and wonderfully forthright approach with our children has added a dimension to their lives (and ours) that we will all be eternally grateful for.
You are so special we will be looking for a new star in the sky tonight. God bless you Gerry, you will be in our hearts forever.
Mike & Sarah

In 1976 I walked through the doors at Camp Hill pool and my life was changed forever. Today we have lost a truly great man and inspirational coach. He guided us in the pool and taught us values that we will carry with us throughout our lives outside of swimming. He was a very dear friend to us all. I will miss him so much.


Devastated, Gerry looked over me from the age of 8 and shaped who i am today. Most of us spent more hours in the pool and at gala's than we did in our own homes. He was and still is family. I will miss him deeply. From Mike


Jon Baker
Even though I left the swimming scene 15yrs ago I think of Jerry and my times at Camp Hill regularly and with fondness.
Jerry was such a positive influence on my life and for that I will be eternally grateful.


Brian Brinkley To all, my great sympathy, a great coach mentor and friend


Margie Kelly Gerry Thain was a brilliant man. He put up with us as juniors, managed us as seniors and just humoured us when we thought we had got one over on him. As team manager for the Seoul Olympics, he allowed me to take my 2 year old son on the training camp. Never happened before nor since. We meet many people in swimming, but he was one person I would seek out in the pool just to say hello, cause he just did so much or all of us. RIP Gerry.


Nuala Muir-Cochrane A true ambassador for swimming , I remember him as a team manager in Italy one time keeping us all in order but having a dry sense of humour, my prayers are with you all at this sad time xxx


Gaynor Willis So very sorry to hear this, I loved Gerry. One of swimming's best. Great sense of humour but tried to keep a lid on it. Sad news. Love to you Jo and to all those who feel the loss. x x x


Steve Harrison A true gent helped me even though I was the opposition, first team manager at international level triangular meet in Bonn


Julia Cree I haven't seen Gerry for 20 years, but I have fond memories those special times in the pool or "on tour" with CHE. That is very sad news.


Caroline Garratt Fond memories of Gerry's dry sense of humour. Great team manager & true gentleman. Condolences to all at Camphill and to his family. RIP Gerry.


Gareth Sykes So sad. He was a great, a true legend, such words don't mean so much these days. But he was! You know how much we 'hated' Camp Hill - such a facade - but Gerry was the such a motivator and leader of us all really. The last thing I remember him saying to me was "Sykes, you used to be quite svelte......" I'll miss his humour. I'll miss him. I wish I could attend the funeral, I won't be able to, please pass on my regards. Gareth


I apologise if I have missed anything! If I have please email and I will post it. Many thanks, Steve



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