BURNHAM-ON-SEA Swimming Club has paid tribute to “amazing” coach Mike Lawrence.

Mr Lawrence, who spent 15 years teaching at the club, passed away yesterday (March 29).

And the club, which is based at Brean Splash, said his loss would be hard felt by all who knew him.

“It is with great sadness that we have heard that Mike Lawrence passed away this morning,” a spokesperson for the club said.

“Mike was an amazing man and supported the club for many, many years.

“His loss will be felt by the swimming community, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends at this very sad time.”

Echoing those thoughts, the Somerset Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) - which consists of all affiliated clubs in the county - said it was “saddened” to learn the news.

A Somerset ASA statement said: “One of the best advocates and ambassadors of our sport, Mike never thought his commitment, enthusiasm and dedication to his club was anything out of the ordinary.

“But he was an amazing man whose support over many, many years was recognised with the award of Regional Volunteer of the Month for October 2019.

“His loss will be felt by the local swimming community, and our condolences go to his family, friends and club colleagues.”

Mr Lawrence spent 15 years teaching at the swimming club - before retiring from the role last year - in which time he became an incredibly popular figure with swimmers, parents and his fellow club volunteers.

Reacting to the sad news, one Facebook user said: “Really rather heartbroken reading this.

“I have such fond memories of Mike from working at Splash, he never failed to cheer up a bad day.

“A huge loss to all who had the privilege of knowing him.”

Another commented: “He was a lovely man, and always had time for the students and parents.

“A big loss to all associated to the swimming club.”