Tomorrow, at his funeral, we will remember one of the giants of the club, Barrie Davenport. Barrie had been involved with Walsall Swimming Club at every level, principally with water polo, having held office in the club for at least the last 40 years.
Barrie played water polo for the Birmingham & District League (now Midland League) when it entered a team in the inaugural season of the former men’s National League in 1963 and two years later was a key figure in Walsall’s decision to join the League in its own right. At one stage in the 1960s, the Walsall club was so strong that it entered two teams in the National Water Polo League. You can read more about that period of history at https://www.walsallswimmingclub.com/ww2-to-1960 and https://www.walsallswimmingclub.com/the-60s.
During his water polo career, Barrie was also a top grade referee, officiating at home internationals. He coached GB juniors alongside Manchester’s Mike Glover.
Barrie, who ran an engineering business, and his wife Josie had four children – Ian, Helen, Sharon and Angela – all of them prominently involved at Walsall SC. Josie herself set up the synchro club at Walsall and Ian played water polo for the club and now coaches there. Angela specialised in synchro – she now coaches at the Reading club and is an England Masters’ synchro champion – while Sharon (Worthington) is well known as a British Water Polo League event manager and table official.
He was very proud of late that his son Ian was back at Walsall as a swimming coach. Barrie made a huge effort to come to the AGM in December 2019 as he did every year and was still attending Executive Committee meetings until recently. His dedication and loyalty to the club was always very apparent - he will be sadly missed.
The funeral will take place at 1pm on 20 March at Streetly Crematorium, Little Hardwick Road, Aldridge, Walsall, WS9 OSG.