Peter was an outstanding all-round sportsman – as a youngster, he made first team appearances for Bristol Rugby Club as a scrum-half, as well as playing water polo for GB at under-21 level and Cheltenham in the National League. His own playing career ended prematurely, cut short by a medical condition that affected his balance, but that was to fuel his passion for coaching.
John Sissons, of City of Bristol, writes: “Into the 1970s, Bristol Central were relative water polo minnows in the West Country. The turnaround in ambition was mostly down to one man, Peter Sherman, who built a team based around a punishing training regime – and despite losing many of the most talented young players to clubs that were deemed bigger and better. Pete’s own son, Jez, was one of those who moved on (to Polytechnic) and then captained Great Britain for many years.
“Under Pete’s guidance, Central steadily progressed up the National League promotion ladder, winning the NWPL title for the first time in 1995, a trio of British Championships in 1996, 1997 and 1998, followed by further years when they were a dominant force in British club water polo. Peter stepped down as coach in the late 1990s, leaving a legacy that has sustained the club until the present day.”
Sissons adds: “Peter will be greatly missed. Our thoughts at this time are with Viv, Becky, Jez, Alexandra and the families.”
A celebration of Peter's life takes place at St Mary Redcliffe Church, Bristol, on Tuesday, 11 July, at noon.