Our former coach and club chair, Irving Dixon, passed away in the early hours of Wednesday 10th April. He died peacefully in his sleep, with his daughter, Karen, by his side.
Irving is one of those special people who has contributed so much to Spencer over the many years of his membership. He truly viewed Spencer as his second family. He loved swimming, cared very deeply about Spencer, the success of the club and the individual swimmers, especially those he coached. He always tried to be there to cheer you on in your races, getting joy out of your successes and at the ready with hugs and a pep talk after a bad swim (along with a lot of sage advice on how to improve).
Irving was a top class swimmer himself – as a member of Leander SC he represented Surrey and the RAF swim teams in the 1950’s and 60’s. He later turned to coaching and was appointed to Guildford City SC in the 1970’s. On his return to swimming as a masters competitor he joined Spencer Swim Team and contributed significantly to Spencer’s long list of individual and relay British, European and world records. He served as chairman for a number of years in the mid-2000’s and in most recent years as a coach at Putney up until late 2017.
He attended and medalled in many international events – the photo shows the silver medal winning team in the European Championships in Stockholm in 2005.
Irving very much enjoyed the camaraderie and social side of Masters swimming and of Spencer in particular. Many will remember the quartet of Irving, Francis, Grace and Muriel at Europeans in Slovenia 2007 having a rather good time sampling local wines and driving around in 2nd gear the entire time in their rental car. They were partying until the early hours, while the younger team members were trying to concentrate on the swimming!
Irving had a huge impact on and meant a lot to Spencer: he was a coach, mentor and friend to many of us and he will be sadly missed.
Irving’s funeral will take place on Tuesday, 23rd April at 10am at Woking Crematorium, Hermitage Road, St John’s, Woking, Surrey GU21 8TJ
All Spencer Team Mates and fellow Masters swimmers are welcome.
Our condolences go out to Irving’s son and daughter, Stephen and Karen and their families.
Irving’s record credits
Short Course Mixed 280-319 4×200 freestyle with Geoff Stokes, Jean Howard Jones and Diane Ford, 12.20.30 – 2010-2011
Long Course Course Mixed 280-319 4×200 freestyle with Geoff Stokes, Jean Howard Jones and Diane Ford, 12.52.57, 2011
Short Course Mixed 280-319 4×200 freestyle with Geoff Stokes, Jean Howard Jones and Diane Ford, 12.20.30 – 2010-2013
Short Course Men’s 280-319 4×200 freestyle with Andrew Elcock, Geoff Stokes and Graham Short, 12.03.23, 2010
Short Course Men’s 280-319 4×100 freestyle with Andrew Elcock, Geoff Stokes and Graham Short, 5.29.17, 2010
Short Course Men’s 280-319 4×100 Medley with Nigel Salsbury, Geoff Stokes and Graham Short, 6.08.11, 2010-2011
Long Course Mixed 280-319 4×200 freestyle with Geoff Stokes, Jean Howard Jones and Diane Ford, 12.52.57, 2011-2013
Long Course Mixed 280-319 4×100 freestyle with Carol Fellows, Diane Ford and Geoff Stokes, 5.45.87, 2011-2013
Long Course Mixed 280-319 4×50 medley with Grace Isaac, Diane Ford and Richard Stead 2.47.30, 2008-2010
Long Course Mixed 280-319 4×50 free
with Willie van Rysel, Olive Hale and Andrew Elcock 3.17.80, 1999
with Francis Halshaw, Muriel Hitchcock and Grace Isaac, 2.45.77/2.43.96 2005-2007
with Geoff Stokes, Grace Isaac and Jean Howard Jones 2.37.53, 2007-2008
with Tony Cherrington, Grace Isaac and Jean Howard Jones 2.30.97, 2008-2009
Long Course Men’s 4×100 Medley with Nigel Salsbury, Morris Dick and Graham Short 6.16.56, 2011
Long Course Men’s 4×200 free with John Webb, Nigel Salsbury and Geoff Stokes 13.11.51, 2011
Long Course Men’s 4×100 free with Geoff Stokes, Nigel Salsbury and Graham Short 5.39.50, 2011
Long Course Men’s 4×50 free with Geoff Stokes, Neil Tasker and Francis Halshaw 2.21.51, 2007-2008