Bluefriars honour their Olympic rowers

Monkton Bluefriars Trust organised a unique event on Saturday 25th April to congratulate double Olympic champion Steve Williams OBE (Gold in men’s heavyweight coxless four) and Alex Partridge (Silver in men’s heavyweight eight) upon their success at Beijing.

Monkton Bluefriars Trust organised a unique event on Saturday 25th April to congratulate double Olympic champion Steve Williams OBE (Gold in men’s heavyweight coxless four) and Alex Partridge (Silver in men’s heavyweight eight) upon their success at Beijing.

All fellow crew members from seventeen years ago (when Steve as a sixteen year old had his first taste of success with a Monkton 2nd eight, coxed by close friend and former Olympic champion, Rowley Douglas MBE) turned up at the famous Leander Club, Henley-on-Thames (of which Steve is currently Captain) travelling from as far afield as Houston, Texas and Nice, France to row once again with Steve and challenge an eight of Old Monktonians assembled by fellow Olympian, Alex. A large crowd of supporters cheered on the crews as they competed over part of the Henley Regatta course to record a classic ‘dead heat’ result.

The afternoon’s race was umpired by Julian Bewick (at the forefront of Monkton rowing since 1966), later honoured at a celebration dinner attended by 80 guests with a presentation of the ARA Medal of Merit from Di Ellis CBE, current Chairman of the Amateur Rowing Association, in recognition of Julian’s outstanding lifetime services to the sport of rowing.

Centre-piece of the dinner was a unique display of five Olympic rowing medals won by Old Monktonians attending the dinner:

  • Mike Lapage (Silver in VIIIs at London, 1948)
  • Rowley Douglas MBE (Gold in VIIIs at Sydney, 2000)
  • Alex Partridge (Silver in VIIIs at Beijing, 2008)
  • Steve Williams OBE (Gold in Coxless IVs at Athens 2004, Beijing 2008)

Pressed after his speech at the dinner on his intentions for London 2012, Steve Williams (currently taking a sabbatical from team GB) replied that he still had not decided whether or not to go for three golds in a row.

Monkton Bluefriars

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