Eltham, South London. 1984: the warm fug of the swimming pool and the slow splashing of a boy learning to swim but not yet wanting to take his foot off the bottom. Fast-forward four years. Photographers and family wait on the shingle beach as a boy in a bright orange hat and grease-smeared goggles swims the last few metres from France to England. He has been in the water for twelve agonising hours, encouraged at each stroke by his coach, John Bullet, who has become a second father. This is the story of a remarkable friendship between a coach and a boy, and a love letter to the intensity and freedom of childhood.
Boy in the Water: A Memoir
- Penguin Books Ltd