Tributes have flooded in for a "legend" in the sport of diving - Hatfield's Derek Beaumont.

The owner of Beaumont Diving Academy, ran out of Hatfield Swim Centre and the person responsible for guiding numerous stars to major awards, died after a short illness.

His influence stretched far beyond Hatfield though, dedicating more than half a century to the sport, having started as an athlete before moving on to being a judge, coach and committee member.

He was awarded recognition for his lifetime of service to the sport by Swim England's Diving Leadership Group in 2020 at the British Championships and was also honoured by winning the BBC’s Unsung Hero award for the East region in 2014.

That was the same year he was named Swim England’s volunteer teacher/coach of the year.

He judged at European, world and Olympic levels and was also the coach of Lindsey Fraser at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Derek Beaumont (left) with some of his pupils. Picture: BEAUMONT DIVING ACADEMYDerek Beaumont (left) with some of his pupils. Picture: BEAUMONT DIVING ACADEMY (Image: Archant)

Swim England’s Diving Leadership Group said: "Derek will be hugely missed by his diving family and friends across the UK and the world.

"Having founded the Beaumont Diving Academy in 1968, Derek produced nine Olympians, judged at European, World and Olympic level and contributed to the development of many of the coaches and judges that you find on poolside up and down the country today.

"Throughout the years, Derek also served on many diving committees both nationally and regionally.

"He has played an important part of so many people’s diving journey and inspired countless members of the diving community to volunteer and work within the sport.

"It is with the upmost respect we take this opportunity to thank Derek for his selfless dedication to the sport and pay our respects to a true diving legend.

"Everyone at Swim England’s thoughts and condolences are with Derek’s wife, Jackie, and his family during this time."