The daughter of a Huddersfield man who swam the English Channel by breaststroke has presented a special trophy in his memory to a local swimmer.
Helen Kaye-Wyatt, whose late father Philip Kaye was the first person to complete the swim by breaststroke, presented The Philip Kaye Memorial Trophy to swimmer Milly Boulding, 13, who is an 800m freestyle swimmer and member of the Borough of Kirklees Swimming Club.
Helen had the trophy specially made as a previous one in memory of her father went missing. Despite an appeal in the Examiner it hasn’t been found.
The previous trophy was given to talented open water swimmers in Huddersfield following Mr Kaye’s own achievement swimming the Channel from France to England in 1966.
Helen, of Rastrick, hadn’t been aware the trophy existed until she had discovered three large scrapbooks containing Examiner cuttings about her dad’s achievements.
Her dad, who died in January last year aged 79, had never mentioned the trophy.
Helen said: “When I found out about the existence of my dad’s original trophy from his scrapbooks but failed to locate it, I felt that the only natural thing to do was to replace the trophy and present it on an annual basis to celebrate his achievements in swimming and keep his memory alive.
“Throughout his life, he was an amazing dad to me, helping and guiding me throughout.
“I was so proud of him and it has given me great comfort to present this trophy to the Borough of Kirklees Swimming Club in his honour. He would be thrilled!”
Mr Kaye sealed his place in history over the night of August 17 and August 18, 1966, when he swam the 21 miles – actually an amazing 68 miles after battling the spring tide.
It was the third time he had attempted the bruising crossing and was all the more remarkable as he completed it in the best ‘amateur’ traditions without massive support from corporate sponsors.
The boss of the Halifax firm where he worked gave him £300 and use of the company car, a Vauxhall Victor, so he could make the trip to the south coast.
Mr Kaye succeeded despite a painful start when he waded into the sea at Cap Gris Nez, France, and cut his stomach on a sharp piece of iron. However, he showed plenty of Yorkshire grit and continued to Sandgate, near Folkestone.
During the swim Mr Kaye lost a stone in weight. “It was agonising,” he said after completing the swim.
On his return home he was given a civic reception at Huddersfield Town Hall.
He later told the Examiner the Channel swim was “an experience that I have never forgotten and never will.”