Olympic athletics coach Mike Smith dies aged 88
An athletics coach who nurtured the talents of Olympic, Commonwealth and European medal winners has died after a short illness.
Southampton-based Mike Smith was renowned for his work training up and coming athletics stars in a career spanning five decades.
His most famous athletes include Iwan Thomas MBE, Kriss Akabusi, Todd Bennett, Roger Black and Donna Hartley.
Thomas said he would be "doing a lap of Southampton track" in his honour.
Many of them have paid tribute to Mr Smith, who died aged 88.
In a statement his family said the coach, who looked after more than 30 international athletes, "crossed the finishing line" on Sunday 5 March.
Mr Smith, who was also a commentator for BBC Radio Solent and South Today, is survived by his wife Jo, daughter Janet and son Bob.
Paying tribute on Twitter, Iwan Thomas said: "Most of my adult life was based around him and everything I achieved was because of him, I'm devastated.
"The man I owe so much to who was so much more than just a coach. I'm having a beer in his honour and doing a lap of Southampton track."
Others have remembered the coach as a "calm, gentle and knowledgeable man".