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David Wilkie: Olympic champion swimmer dies aged 70

In the amateur world of Olympic sport, Wilkie could not cash in on his fame and compete at the same time. He had to choose between the pool and the pound and he picked the latter.

“If it had been a different world, I would have continued for at least another four years,” he said. “That would have taken me up to Moscow in 1980 where it would have been a cinch to win the gold medals because the Americans didn’t turn up because of the Russian invasion of Afghanistan.

“I was also world record holder in the 200m medley, which they took out of Montreal. Had I continued to Moscow, there were three individual golds to go for, plus the relays.

“It didn’t happen, so no use crying over spilt milk. I made that decision to make money out of the sport. I did it with my eyes open.”

At 22, Wilkie’s swimming life was all but over, but although fame and the opportunities waned, he developed a food and nutrition business and sold it for millions.

When speaking to BBC Scotland in 2020, he was still swimming every day in the pool in his house in the south of England.

Indeed, he revealed that “I was told off for swimming too fast” by a lifeguard at a local pool.