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Gwent Olympian dies at 80 (29th July 2009)

Wednesday 29th July 2009 (South Wales Argus)

FORMER Gwent Olympian William John Brockway has died at his Newport home aged 80.

The former Olympic and Commonwealth swimmer died on Sunday.

Mr Brockway made his first Olympic appearance aged 19 at the 1948 London Games when he reached the final of the 100 yards backstroke He went on to represent Great Britain again in the 1952 and 1956 Olympic Games, when he captained the team.

In 1954 he won a gold medal in the 110 yards Backstroke at the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver.

Mr Brockway was born in Bristol in 1928 and moved with his family to the Maindee area of Newport aged five.

He took up swimming in Maindee swimming pool and his talent developed from there.

Away from the water he completed an engineering apprenticeship at Newport Technical College before starting at Lysaghts Steelworks in Newport.

In the 1960s he went to work at Llanwern Steelworks where he was the engineer in charge of the Cold Mill and Strip Mill until he retired in the 1980s.

The former Eveswell Primary School pupil was a keen a sailor and enjoyed sailing dinghies on Llandegfedd Reservoir as well as sailing his yacht around the South coast from Dartmouth.

He was also a talented craftsman and enjoyed making wooden furniture.

Mr Brockway leaves a widow Diana, 73, three children Harry, 50, Bill, 49, and Clare, 47 and grandchildren Florence, 20 and Elsie, 18.

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