Tributes paid to Marlins swimming club stalwart Jim Cannon

Grace Witherden

Tributes have been paid to an ‘extraordinary’ member of Maidenhead Marlins who dedicated half a century to the swimming club.

Jim Cannon, honorary vice president of the club, died at home on Tuesday, July 19, aged 85.

The father-of-four became involved when his children started learning to swim.

Austin Swain, chairman of Maidenhead Marlins said: “There was no indoor pool in Maidenhead at that time. They joined Slough Dolphins and Jim not only transported his own children but also those from two other families living nearby and started helping at the club.

“When the indoor pool was built in Maidenhead he became involved with the Maidenhead club where he has continued to coach ever since.

“Jim was an extraordinary man. Few people can claim to have given half a century of commitment to a sport,

to a single club, to aiding the progress of generations of swimmers through the sport he loved, for the love of the sport – not for money, not for personal gain, not for recognition or glory.

“He was always polite, welcoming, ready to stand in for any squad, and his very presence – come rain or shine,

early morning or late evening, was reminder to us all that if he can do it, we can.

“He was the epitome of what volunteering is: doing more than you have to – because you want to.”

In 2003, Mr Cannon was made honorary vice president of the club in recognition of his enormous contribution to it, and he also drove the annual Swimathon every year.

Originally from Ireland, he had four children with his wife Diana: Debby, Kevin, Jane and Maria, and one grandson, Sean.

Jim worked at a engineering firm in Slough shortly after meeting his wife, and later in life worked at a printing firm until he retired.

Maria Allen, his daughter, said: “He had a great community spirit, he was also a member of Cox Green Community Centre.

“He was quite a quiet man and he lived a happy family life.

“He had a great sense of humour and he loved his Irish country music.”

In 2004 Mr Cannon was awarded a lifetime achievement accolade from the Royal Borough for his 30 years of dedication and commitment to coaching.

His funeral will be at Slough Crematorium on Tuesday at 2pm.

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