JOHN McLAUGHLIN, of Upper Thames Rowing Club, died at home in Henley on Saturday after a six-month battle with cancer. His wife Catherine and daughter Lucy-Beth were with him.
A lifelong oarsman, he started rowing while studying civil engineering at Liverpool University. As a member of the university boat club, he was known to be exceptionally strong, if sometimes over-enthusiastic. In 1970 he undertook a sponsored row from Liverpool to London to raise money for new blades.
Rowing on the canal, John managed to break eight of the existing sets of old pencil oars due to repeated encounters with the canal banks.
During the Seventies he rowed with Kingston Rowing Club, where he remained a lifelong member. He had numerous victories, stroking a coxed or coxless four. The coxed boat was usually steered by a young Julian Clary and in 2001 John and his crew appeared on This Is Your Life with Julian.
As a civil engineer and project manager, John had the opportunity to work around the world, including Fiji, Hong Kong, France and Nigeria. He was on the executive board of the Association for Project Management and awarded an MSc in construction management from Reading University.