Steve Williams won the Senior Swimmer Gold Award at the Kellogg’s ASA Swimtastic Awards 2009
Grandfather Steve Williams has been awarded the UK's senior swimmer of the year for conquering his fear of water and learning to swim at the age of 56.
Steve , of Ffynnongroyw, started to learn two years ago at Holywell Leisure Centre thanks to coach Karen Snee - who nominated him for the award - and who managed to coax him back into the water for the first time in nearly 50 years.
Said Steve: "I had a morbid fear of water. I hadn't been in the water since school when I was six or seven."
After suffering mental health problems in 2005, Steve's doctor recommended he take up a mental and physical challenge to help him get back to health.
"I couldn't think of a bigger challenge than getting in the water," said Steve, a grandfather of four.
Finally, last year, he had the confidence to take to the water himself, enjoying a summer holiday in Greece with partner Ruth when, for the first time, he was able to get in the hotel pool after years of previous holidays sitting on the poolside.
Today his mother, Eve, and eldest daughter Jackie, 30, will see him in the water for the first time.
They're going along to the Kellogg's ASA Swimtastic Awards 2009 ceremony in Stratford-Upon-Avon which involves Steve swimming with stars past and present from the Team GB swimming team.
The awards recognise people of all ages and abilities as well as those responsible for providing learn to swim lessons.
"The award has come out of the blue," said Steve. "It's an excellent surprise."