In the tributes to Andy Holmes there have been many comments on his modesty, something rare in a top athlete. There has been particular reference to the story that one of his daughters only found out that her father was a double Olympian from a school book. I witnessed an example of his self-effacing attitude at a reception given by the Mayor of Hammersmith and Fulham held to mark the centenary of the 1908 Olympics (which was staged in the borough). Many British gold medallists from the 2008 Beijing Games were feted as guests of honour but Andy was there only as one of the representatives of Furnivall Sculling Club where he was involved in simple club level coaching. He wore no special Olympic blazer or tie and made no mention of his wins. It amused me to see that he was the most successful Olympian in the room but most people present did not know this, including, I suspect, most of the 2008 medallists. Victorian sporting amateurs held that ‘modesty is inseparable from true merit.’ This was certainly true in Andy’s case.