Legendary shooter Kevin Gill, 58, lived and breathed for shooting and had a huge impact on the sport. He leaves behind a legacy at the highest level of shooting as both an athlete and coach.
The Plymouth born, double Olympian, began his involvement in the world of shooting as an athlete in the late 1970’s. His first GB medal at ISSF level came as a junior, with a Double Trap bronze medal in the 1980 Zaragoza European Championships.
He went on to win four Double Trap medals in ISSF events, including a World Record performance at the Moscow World Championships in 1990. He also won a gold in Olympic Trap at the 1989 World Cup in Suhl.
The pinnacle of any athlete’s career is undoubtably representing Team GB at the Olympics, and Kevin did that twice, firstly at the 1992 Barcelona Games, and in 1996 at the Atlanta Games.
He also represented Team England at the 1990 Auckland Commonwealth Games, winning silver in Olympic Trap as well as gold in the Trap pairs with teammate Ian Peel.
Following his retirement as an athlete, Kevin moved into the world of coaching, and eventually became Head Shotgun Coach at British Shooting.
Throughout his time with the organisation he was a key part of the support team that produced a whole host of fantastic performances and achievements, including Peter Wilson’s London 2012 gold medal win, Steve Scott’s and Ed Ling’s Rio 2016 bronze medals, and, most recently, Matt Coward-Holley’s World Championship gold medal in Lonato.
Kevin coached and led GB teams across the world and had a big impact on the evolution of our organisation, his philosophy being that ‘it’s all about the Union Jack flying above the podium’.
British Shooting Performance Director, Steven Seligmann, said: “It’s very sad to hear of the loss of Kevin Gill. He had great commitment and passion for shooting in Great Britain and whenever he put on the GB tracksuit it was always with immense pride and joy.
“As a coach he was instrumental in progressing shotgun shooting across the pathway, in particular the World Class Programme, the Shotgun Series and at international level including the London and Rio Olympics. There are many fond memories of Kevin on and off the shooting range and he will be sadly missed by the shooting community.”
Phil Scanlan, Shooting Team Leader at London 2012 and Rio 2016, said: “I have known Kevin Gill since we met as teammates at the Commonwealth Games in Auckland 1990, and then again at the World Championships in Moscow later that same year.
“We became friends then, and remained friends for some 30 years. In my various roles subsequently as team manager at World Championships and Olympic Games, Kevin had the role of Head Shotgun Coach, in which I found him to be helpful, hardworking, knowledgeable, and particularly supportive.
“His passion for shooting, his understanding of International shooting, and especially his huge pride for Team GB shone through on every trip. I owe Kevin a big thank you for everything he has done for and with me over the years. He was also good fun and will be greatly missed.”
Fellow compatriot and Olympic Trap shooter, Ian Peel, also paid tribute to his friend and competitor. He said: “Having first met Kevin some 40+ years ago he has not only been an exceptional competitor, and a friend, but a true ambassador of the sport of clay shooting in every way.
“There have been many great moments in Kevin’s shooting life, I remember him winning numerous World Cup medals in Trap and Double Trap and the World Universal Trench title in Portugal.
“Having spoken to Kevin only a few weeks ago, I feel his proudest moment was seeing Matt Coward-Holley win the World Olympic Trap title last year in Lonato.
“Shooting in the UK and around the World will not be the same without him, the sport is poorer for our loss.”
Chief Executive of British Shooting, Hamish McInnes, echoed the thoughts of many within the shooting world by saying: “We are deeply shocked and saddened by the news that Kevin Gill has passed away.
“He was a well-respected figure and had a big impact on the evolution of target shooting in the UK. He leaves behind a fantastic legacy, and his passing will be felt throughout the shooting community not only domestically, but internationally.”
Within just a few hours, the internet has been flooded with tributes and condolences for a man who clearly touched so many.
Taken too soon, our heartfelt condolences and thoughts go out to Kevin’s family at this difficult time.