It is with great sadness we inform the world of gymnastics that Bill McLoughlin passed away suddenly, aged 72, on Saturday 21st December 2013.
Bill devoted his life to his three greatest passions; his family, gymnastics and education. His unique combination of gymnastics and educational skills have inspired generations of people in many different sporting and academic fields.
As Head of Physical Education at St. Mary’s University College in Twickenham, Bill mentored thousands of students into the teaching profession and many others into various national and international sporting arenas.
It became apparent from an early age that Bill was dedicated and determined to be involved in gymnastics at the highest levels. Coached by Stan Booth at Milnsbridge Gymnastics Club in Huddersfield, Bill was captain of the 5 man team that won the Adam Shield (Men’s British Team Champions, pictured) in 1967. He was also a valued member of the Dortmund World Championships team in 1966.
Pursuing his devotion to gymnastics as a coach is where Bill left a lasting impression. His knowledge of physiology and biomechanics combined with his gymnastics background and unique innovative teaching techniques made him one of the country’s leading gymnastics international performance coaches.
Bill was Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Honorary National Coach from 1973 to 1980, taking GBR teams to Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth Championships. He produced 5 time British Team Champions, individual British Champions, Olympians and contributed to numerous other international gymnasts’ careers. In Men’s Artistic Gymnastics, he was a High Performance Coach and International Brevet Judge representing GBR at the Olympic Games and on the World Championships stage.
Bill’s achievements and long service to British gymnastics earned him, Master Gymnast, Master Coach and Honorary Life Membership to British Gymnastics. In 2008 he was also inducted into the Nik Stuart Hall of Fame and was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award, honours which he was very proud of.
In 1995 Bill retired from teaching at St Mary’s College, however, his tireless commitment to coaching gymnastics and trampolining continued. Bill went back to the grassroots of teaching by running courses on behalf of the British Gymnastics both in the UK and abroad to further expand the awareness and development of his much loved sports. To Bill this was a true vocation in life.
Those fortunate enough to have been coached or taught by Bill will remember his particular fondness for using great philosophers quotes to support his own teaching methods. He would utter things such as: “Those who say it cannot be done, should not interrupt those who are doing it” or “Everything is difficult until it becomes easy”.
Bill will be very much missed by all his family and friends; his inspirational legacy will live on in those he leaves behind. Bill is survived by his wife, Maria and their 5 children: Sean, Claire, Liam, Siobhan and Kerry.
Bill's service will be held on Friday 17th January from 1.30pm at St Mary’s College, Waldegrave Road, Strawberry Hill, Twickenham, TW1 4SX with celebration afterwards in the Waldegrave Drawing room.
The family have asked that no flowers be sent, but if anyone wishes to they can make a donation to 'The British Heart Foundation'.
Please send donation cheques to F. Harrison Funeral Directors, 40 Harvest Road, Englefield Green, Surrey, TW20 0QT.