A Boy in the Water
Winner of the William Hill 2018 Sports Book of the Year Award * A Sunday Times Book of the Year and Telegraph Best Book of 2018. 'Extraordinary' - Clare Balding.
The poignant, life-affirming story of a determined boy, a visionary coach, and how the dream of a record-breaking Channel swim became reality.
Eltham, South London. 1984: the hot 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 agonizing 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.