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Commonwealth hero is mourned

Sport | Published:

GUERNSEY sport was yesterday stunned to learn of the death of one of its all-time greats, pistol shooter Adrian Breton.

GUERNSEY sport was yesterday stunned to learn of the death of one of its all-time greats, pistol shooter Adrian Breton. The twice Olympic and three times Commonwealth Games medallist died on Monday night, aged 44.

Guernsey Commonwealth Games Association life vice-chairman Owen Le Vallee was present to see all Breton's Commonwealth triumphs and presented him with his gold medal in Auckland in 1990. He said: 'Over the five Games and 20 years that I had known him, Adrian proved to be a model competitor, the type of team member any manager would wish for.

'He was ever reliable, always putting his competition first, a good mixer, always willing to help others and so proud of having been selected to represent both his island, which always came first, and Great Britain at world class events.

'He was always grateful for what was done for him and even when at the top of his sporting prowess, was very modest while discussing his successes.

'In sport, he was a credit to his island.'

Peter Sirett, chairman of the GCGA and Culture and Leisure minister, paid his own tribute.

'Many years after his sporting achievements on the range, I sat next to Adrian in Beau Sejour when the Sports Commission unveiled the initial line-up for the sports wall of fame, a line-up that included the man himself.

'I congratulated him on this well-deserved honour and he turned to me with his eyes full of tears and said: ?I can't believe I am up there with all those famous people.?

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'I am confident that all those famous people and indeed all the sporting folk of Guernsey would agree that he fully deserved his place and I am sure he will long be remembered for his exploits on the international stage.'

Breton was an obvious choice for the island's sporting heroes celebration which came some time after he had stopped shooting.

Like his local contemporaries, his sporting career suffered with the closure of the Hougue Patris range which for several years left pistol shooters without any outdoor practice facilities.

*Three Commonwealth Games medals won at successive Games from 1986 made Adrian Breton Guernsey's most successful pistol shot and one of the island's sporting greats. He won a rapid fire pistol silver medal in Edinburgh in 1986 but went one better four years later by claiming gold in Auckland.

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He completed a full set of medals when claiming bronze in Victoria in 1994.

In addition he has twice represented Great Britain at the Olympics - Seoul and Barcelona - shooting with great distinction.

His score of 583 ex 600 to win the Auckland Games was a Commonwealth record. He has also won gold medals for his island at the Island Games.

Four times - in 1984, 1986, 1990 and 1997 - he was awarded the Wilkinson Sword, the island's most prestigious sports award.

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