TRIBUTES have been paid to Blackburn’s first international swimmer, who has died.

Dorothy Gosling (nee Wilson) died peacefully on Boxing Day morning.

The 79-year-old is survived by a younger brother David Wilson, daughters Karen and Vicky and grandson George Gosling.

Dorothy was born in Blackburn, to parents George and Lily Wilson.

Taking part in sport runs in the family's blood.

David said: “She was always very competitive and even when she gave up the swimming, she went horse riding with her daughter Vicky who competed for Great Britain.

“Her other daughter Karen played volleyball for England too. Her husband Terry played rugby for Prestwich Heys.

“My dad George played water polo for Blackburn and did swimming so we were a swimming family.

“Dorothy loved swimming and did it before she could walk. She went to the pool three or four times a day."

The former Audley Secondary Modern School pupil used to train at Blackburn’s Belper Street baths and Blakey Moor. She had monthly training sessions at Derby Baths, Blackpool and also Victoria Baths, Manchester.

Dorothy attended IM Marsh College at Liverpool where she graduated as a PE teacher, later becoming an aerobics instructor.

Dorothy, Blackburn’s first women's international swimmer who swam several times for her country, also broke the British 100 yard record which she held for some time.

David added: “She was so chuffed about breaking the record and over the moon to be competing.

She married Trevor Gosling, a junior company director. They took over a livery horse stables yard, which Vicky and Dorothy ran together.

David added: “Dorothy was proud when her two children followed in her footsteps and earned their international flags, in their chosen sports.”

Dorothy was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and did an incredible job in fighting it at home. In 2017 she moved to Eastleigh care home in Devon, where Vicky could visit her every day.

David said: “Dorothy was very well treated at Eastleigh care home and will be solely missed.”

He added: “I can remember coming out of the swimming baths not able to talk as I had lost my voice cheering her on. They called her glamorous as she was good looking. She was a caring person but also a bit hard and bossy but that was down to her training and wanting to be the best.”