Celebrating the life of Barry Merrick

The ASA and the water polo community send their condolences to the family and friends of Barry Merrick, who passed away last week.

A former England and Great Britain coach, Barry was passionate about water polo. He lived and worked in Leamington for most of his life and was an avid water polo player.

In the 1970s he worked as a coach at local, regional and national levels. Barry took the GB Team to a qualifying tournament for the 1972 Olympics in Munich, and although they narrowly missed out on a qualifying spot, they went on to compete at the World Championships in Belgrade.

Following this, Barry returned to coaching in his hometown. He developed the Leamington squad into one of the strongest in the country. In 1975 they won the ASA Knockout title. They then followed up the year after as runners up in the English league.

Barry continued his coaching at Warwick School and put a lot of time into helping to found the Warwick club. They have just joined the British Water Polo League this season.

A great coach with a passion for water polo

Nick Sellwood, former Head of Talent Development at the ASA, said: “Barry Merrick was a coach of outstanding ability. All the players under his guidance had enormous respect for him.

“He had a depth of knowledge for the game which he dispensed in a measured and systematic approach and which engendered a great sense of belief.

“An example of this was with the Warwickshire Junior team. During the National Inter-county final the team was approaching the third period of extra time and the scores were still level. During the team talk Barry said: “Things are going to plan. Just shut out this quarter and we’ll win it in the last”. No-one questioned this. We did exactly that…and won it in the last!

“Barry was a great coach, who had a passion for the game of water polo and he will be sadly missed.”

Jane Nickerson, interim CEO of the ASA, said: “On behalf of everyone at the ASA I would like to extend my condolences to all those who knew Barry.

“Barry was a senior when he and I were both at Leamington Spa Swimming Club. I will never forget the way he supported and encouraged all those around him.”

ASA Water Polo Management Group Manager, Ian Elliot, added: “Barry was a dedicated supporter of water polo and extremely well respected within the water polo community. He will be sadly missed by all those who knew him, worked with him and were coached by him.”

The funeral will take place on Monday 7 November 2016. For more information please contact Keith Tallett via keithtallett@hotmail.com.