RICHARD Egington is Warrington’s most successful Olympian.

The powerhouse rower achieved silver in Beijing in 2008 and bronze in London four years later, both in the heavyweight men’s eight.

And there were other major successes aplenty in an 11-year international career for the ex-Lymm High School and Priestley College student.

He retired after throwing everything at gold-medal glory in the home Olympics, only to be squeezed into second spot over the final 500m at Lake Dorney by world champions Germany and pipped to silver on the line by Canada.

Even Egington himself could not have conceived the next 18 years of his life when he joined Warrington Rowing Club as a 15-year-old.

His first coach, Richard Sinnott, recalls: “When Ric first turned up he was very raw.

Warrington Guardian: Richard Egington in the early days with Warrington Rowing Club

"I think he was looking for a sport, as he realised he was a powerful lad and wanted to test himself in one way or another.

“Even then he was destined to become a regular member of the British men’s heavyweight team in a golden age for British rowing. ”

He added: “Ric’s arrival at the club coincided with the advent of the dreaded rowing ergometer and indoor rowing races.

“Looking back on his training times it is easy to see that he was a bit special.

“When he was still a junior, Hollingworth Lake Rowing Club organised the first English Indoor Rowing Championships.

“Ric, along with brothers Mike and Phil Dostal, went along for a bit of fun and entered the junior races.

"It was no surprise that he won in what is still one of the fastest times ever for a junior. What got the crowd talking was Ric’s result was by a margin the fastest time of all competitors on the day.

“He then teamed up with Mike and Phil to enter the senior relay for four athletes.

"The three lads beat all the other four-man teams!"

Warrington Guardian: Richard Egington in the early days with Warrington Rowing Club

Egington was called up to Great Britain under 23s squad, and continued to impress.

It was no slight on Warrington Rowing Club that he had to head south to gain the experience he needed to progress to elite level, and tied it in with university studies at Reading.

He joined the Leander club’s development scheme where he had mentors, training partners and friends in Sir Steven Redgrave, Sir Matthew Pinsent and James Cracknell OBE.

He became British men’s under 23s indoor champion in 1999 and, after impressing England selectors in the Henley Royal Regatta, was picked to represent his country in the coxed four at the Commonwealth Regatta in 2002, winning gold in Nottingham.

Egington continued to blossom and he made his international Great Britain debut in 2003 in Milan as part of a coxed four at the world championships, winning silver.

From 2005, he was part of an eight for three seasons, winning bronze at the world championships in 2007.

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That led to Egington, Lottery-funded through UK Sport, to become the first known Warrington-born Olympian the following summer.

The eight won their heat and qualified directly for the final, where they scooped silver.

After that success, Egington fancied a shot in the men’s four – the ‘blue riband’ event of Olympic rowing.

And he got his wish, establishing his place in a new-look crew during the 2009 World Cup series, winning two golds and a bronze to take the overall title.

At the world championships the same year, they smashed favourites Australia – the Beijing silver medallists – to win an impressive gold.

He was proud to be appointed Leander club captain for 2010 and in that year’s World Cup series with the men’s four he won golds in Bled and Lucerne and bronze in Munich.

Fourth-place followed at a controversial windswept world championships in New Zealand, but Egington and his crew put the record straight with gold again in Slovenia in 2011.

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During that year’s World Cup series, he won gold in the men’s four in both Munich and Lucerne.

Then, less than five months before the Olympics, chief coach Jurgen Groebler made line-up changes and Egington found himself back in the eight.

During the 2012 World Cup series, the boat won a silver medal in Belgrade, silver in Lucerne and a bronze in Munich with the prospects of heading to London 2012 to tackle unbeaten gold-medal favourites Germany.

In the final Egington and his crewmates looked set for victory after 1,500m, but the Germans responded.

After the dust had settled and on announcing his retirement, he concluded: “I gave it everything. I don’t think I left any stone unturned with my preparations and I don’t have any regrets.”

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