Storied British swimmer Mark Foster is among those athletes, coaches and members of the swimming community paying tribute to Coach Mike Higgs who died after a long battle with cancer.
“Sad news hearing of the passing of mike higgs… Pam and like we’re my 1st coaches and had so much success in the pool… mike you will be missed by all… RIP X”, is what Foster posted on his Twitter account.
Higgs and his wife Pam were the founders of Borough of Southend Swimming Club (BOSS), a club they led from 1985 until their retirement in 2007. Per the club’s website, “Pam’s role was the development of a steady stream of young swimming talent at the Shoebury Pool in preparation for their graduation to Mike’s senior squad at Southend’s Warrior Square Pool.
The site continues, “Their legacy lives on today through those in charge of coaching and teaching at BOSS’ new home at Southend’s Garon Park Swimming and Diving Centre. The Club relocating after Warrior Square, their home for so many happy and successful years, was demolished in 2011.”
The British Swim Coaches Association (BSCA, Ltd) also posted a memorial Tweet of, “A sad day dawns as another British Coaching heavyweight passes.”
Accomplished Australian marathon swimmer Penny Palfrey also paid tribute with the following passage on Facebook today.
“A sad day today, as I received news that a very special person has lost his battle with the big C. Mike Higgs, my childhood/teenage swim coach. My first employer and boss. My friend. Thirty years after finishing swimming with Mike and moving to Australia I asked if he’d help me on my attempt to swim the English Channel. The answer was YES. He dropped everything to be there on my boat, feeding me and cheering me on in the not so calm English Channel, both in 2006 and again in 2007, this time in the midst of retirement and his dream of moving to South Africa with his wife Pam. Rest in peace Mr. Higgs, our love and thoughts are with Pam.”