Water Polo: 10th title for Lancaster would be perfect tribute to Ron

Lancaster City Water Polo Club v Invicta. Picture: Martin Henfield Alex Parsonage
Lancaster City Water Polo Club v Invicta. Picture: Martin Henfield Alex Parsonage

Lancaster City will aim to win their 10th British Water Polo Championship in tribute to a club legend.

The wider water polo community has been mourning the loss of John “Ron” Winn who died suddenly on April 23 at the age of 68.

Ron Winn.

Ron Winn.

Ron was a long-serving coach at Lancaster and successfully guided the club to more than 20 national senior and junior titles as well as being a prominent figure in the sport nationally.

Respects will be paid this weekend when the club host the British Championship finals at Salt Ayre Sports Centre.

Coach Zak Sly said: “There will be a minute’s silence or applause and we’ve had tribute tee-shirts made up.

“We’ll be wearing black bands too.

“Hopefully we can win it for Ron.”

The event will see the top four men’s and women’s teams come to the city across two days of action with the semi-finals on Saturday and third-placed play-offs and finals taking place on Sunday.

Lancaster’s semi-final against Manchester takes place at 12.30pm on Saturday with further last four matches to come at 2pm, 3.30pm and 5pm.

On Sunday the action starts at 9am with the men’s final, where Lancaster or Manchester will take on Cheltenham or Bristol, at 2pm.

Entry on both days is free.

Sly said: “It’s the top four men’s and women’s teams in the country.

“It’s also the first time we’ve hosted the finals in the new format.”

Ron was also in the forefront of everyone’s minds as Lancaster City and Water Polo Club took part in the ASA National Age Group Finals in Manchester at the weekend having helped the city’s under 19 side through their preliminaries and qualifiers for the event.

Lancaster City lost their semi-final 10-3 to hosts City of Manchester on Saturday before winning their bronze medal match 13-12 against Exeter.

Zak Lamb, Ben Turnbull and Stefano Cossutti were on target against Manchester with Lamb, Turnbull, Adam Courtly, Joel Leighton, Jordan Titley and James Pratt scoring against Exeter.

Coach Zak Sly said: “Emotionally the past couple of days for the Lancaster team were just too much for them to give their best performance.”

In the other age groups Aaron Mason, Daniel Armstrong, Mike Kelly and Mattie Alderson represented Lancaster’s sister club Sedgefield in the under 17s boys and came out champions.

In the under 17 girls, Ellie Muncaster, Sam Murby and Katie Tuer helped City of Liverpool to third place while Liverpool’s under 19s, including Muncaster and Eve Simpson, also picked up bronze.