Tributes pour in for Amateur Rowing Coach who suffered medical condition on river

He passed away by the river and was airlifted to hospital


The man who tragically passed away on Saturday morning after suffering a medical condition and falling into the river has been named as Durham Amateur Rowing Club coach Bill Grant.

The long-time rowing coach began teaching while still a teenager and after being a member of Uni Boat Club for three years, he joined the Amateur Rowing Club.

Local and uni rowers sent in their tributes and Bill’s old club remained closed for the weekend out of respect.

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Bill Grant

Bill was an active member of the Amateur Rowing Club throughout his life and took part in the Durham Regatta in 2011.

In 1972, he was part of their Head of the River Race crew, which finished in 35th place  the highest ever achieved by the club.

The Amateur Rowing Club released a statement paying their respects to a man who had been central to their success.

They said: “We are very sad to confirm that one of our members, Bill Grant, passed away this morning after suffering a suspected medical incident on the river bank whilst coaching.

“We would like to express our gratitude to the club members, members of the public, police, ambulance service and the Great North Air Ambulance who came to his aid.

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

The rowing club has remained closed on Sunday “as a mark of respect”.

Bill was also member of the British Rowing Rigging Forum and Northern Rowing, the northern contingent of British Rowing, who paid condolences to the rowing legend.

They said: “It’s with great sadness that we have to share the news that Bill Grant, a member and coach at Durham Amateur Rowing Club sadly passed away yesterday. Our thoughts are with his family & friends.”

St John’s College Cox Molly-Kate McCaffrey, also posted on the Amateur Rowing Club’s Facebook.

She said: “An incredible effort by all involved with providing aid and support, was truly commendable. On behalf of St John’s College Boat Club, our thoughts and prayers are with friends, family and the club.”

Bill was 69.