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Passing of Nigel Burgess

'Nigel joined the Club in 1999 and rowed and trained with us in the John Browne squad. His wife Elaine was one of our regular coxes for a number of years.


Nigel was a keen member of the crew in Head races including Chester, Runcorn and Vesta Vets. He was ambitious for the crew and regularly trained with us, despite his demanding full time job as Chief Constable of Cheshire until his retirement.

He was a key member of the team organising two long distance events for the squad and the wider membership. The Thames Rowing Challenge in 2008, over three days in an eight from the upper reaches in Lechlade to Putney Bridge raised several thousand pounds through sponsorship for various charities including Nigel’s favourite charity, the Neuromuscular Centre in Winsford. Training for this event was tough with several outings to Farndon and back in a weekend: Nigel was a hard taskmaster! The Caledonian Challenge across Scotland from Fort William to Inverness over two days followed in 2012. Nigel and Elaine brought up their launch from Chester to accompany the flotilla of boats that took part.

Nigel employed all his skill and experience as a leader and manager, with an eye for detail, to ensure these events ran smoothly and safely. Both required a dedicated support team without whom we would not have been successful. He would be the first to acknowledge these were both great team efforts, but without his insights and leadership they might not have happened.

Nigel remained a member of the Club until 2015 which was around the time he and Elaine moved south to be nearer to their daughters and grandchildren. After a fall from his bike in Chester, Nigel lost some strength and mobility and later discovered he was living with Parkinson’s. Following falls at home and a recent hospital stay, Nigel’s health deteriorated further and needed the support provided in a care home.

We were both pleased to visit him there just a few months ago with Elaine. Despite also now living with dementia, Nigel still had a twinkle in his eye and lit up when we showed him some rowing memorabilia.

We lost Nigel to the squad a few years ago but now we have also lost a dear friend. Our hearts go out to Elaine and the family for their loss.'

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