Mick's career has gone swimmingly
AFTER a remarkable 40 years for one employer, Mick Byrne can also make an unusual claim to success in the workplace.
He has literally helped to keep Notts afloat.
The 57-year-old has spent his entire career working for the city council's leisure centres – and the number of Notts people he has taught to swim is believed to be in the tens of thousands.
He celebrated the 40-year milestone on Tuesday, but is modest about his incredible dedication to his work.
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"There are fantastic staff that are very supportive of me," he said.
"Like everyone else they just get on with the job – and for me just doing the job is enough to keep me happy.
"The recognition should be for the council really," he added.
Mick, of Gotham, started out as a 16-year-old pool attendant and swimming enthusiast at Clifton Leisure Centre in 1973.
He said: "I first started because I was just interested in activities and sports. I thought it would be a short term job – but it wasn't. I thought it was going to be for about a year or so.
"I started to get more and more interested in it and spent 25 years at Clifton."
He moved to an office management job in the leisure department and ended up settling at Portland Leisure Centre, in Muskham Street, The Meadows, in around 1998, where he has stayed ever since.
He is now manager at the centre.
Although he doesn't teach regularly any more, he maintains an interest in swimming.
He added: "When you think of the people I've taught to swim over that time – the school groups, everything – there must be tens of thousands.
"I've loved doing the job because it gives you the opportunity to make a difference and make sure people have a good experience and fulfil their ambitions.
"You get some children who are nervous about getting into the pool and learning to swim you can make a difference to their confidence."
The dad-of-three and grandfather-of-one says it will soon be time to hang up the floats, though.
"I plan to take early retirement in two or three months," he added.
"There comes a time when you think 'there's more to life than being at work'."
There was no particular fuss on Tuesday to mark his 40 years, he added.
Instead he just reflected on the driving force which has kept him loving the job.
"My philosophy? You need to learn something every day about yourself," he added.