TOM Ford has a first World Rowing Championships gold medal around his neck.

As the stroke man in the boat, he helped the Great Britain men's eight to glory in Sunday's final at Labe Arena in Račice, Czech Republic.

And in doing so the Holmes Chapel native – a former student of The Grange School in Hartford – helped his country finish top of the world championships medal table with 12.

It also capped a stunning weekend for the Ford family, as his sister Emily also contested a final at the weekend but missed out on a medal when finishing fifth in the women's pair with her partner Esme Booth.

This was a third World Rowing Championships medal for Tom, adding to the bronzes he won with the men’s coxless four in 2018 and the men’s eight a year later.

Knutsford Guardian: Tom Ford, left, his Great Britain men's eight crewmates. Picture: Benedict Tufnell for British RowingTom Ford, left, his Great Britain men's eight crewmates. Picture: Benedict Tufnell for British Rowing (Image: Benedict Tufnell for British Rowing)

On Saturday Rory Gibbs, Morgan Bolding, David Bewicke-Copley, Sholto Carnegie, Charlie Elwes, Tom Digby, James Rudkin, Ford and cox Harry Brightmore concluded their unbeaten season by adding to their European Championship title.

The crew also feel they made up for the bronze-medal finish in last year's Tokyo Olympic Games.

They got their bows in front early on and were able to control the race from the front as the field sprinted behind them.

Cox Harry Brightmore, speaking for the group, said the race had gone to plan.

He said: "We knew we just wanted to stick to our race plan and not get caught up with what was happening around us.

"We had a great start, and when it came to about two minutes in, getting into the middle of the race, I gave a call to the guys ‘let’s get some work on’.

"We started to eat away a gap that we hoped no-one could catch. Credit to the guys, who put absolutely everything in in that first three-quarters. We were clinging on for dear life at the end but we managed it.”

Tom and co qualified for the final with a first place heat finish five days earlier.

As well as entering the event as the current European Champions, the men's eight won gold at the two World Cups contested this season.

Emily and Esme successfully navigated through the heats and semi-finals to reach Saturday's medal race.

Throughout 2022 she has raced in a pair with Esme, winning at World Cup I and taking the bronze medal at World Cup III before securing the silver medal at the European Rowing Championships, where the duo doubled up into the eight, gaining a second silver.