Islington Boxing Club coaches honoured for long service

Islington BC coaches JR Richards (left) and Jerry Mitchell with their Keystone awards

Islington BC coaches JR Richards (left) and Jerry Mitchell with their Keystone awards - Credit: Archant

Islington BC coaching duo John "JR" Richards and Jerry Mitchell have both received prestigious awards to mark their long service to the club.

The pair – who, between them, have spent 50 years as coaches at the Hazellville Road club – were presented with Keystone awards at the annual Essex Boys & Girls Club dinner in Hatfield.

Richards, who received a silver award, had little coaching experience when he first joined Islington in 1987, but he has come to be known as a well-respected figure on the amateur scene.

During his years with the club, Richards has coached and accompanied numerous competitive boxers in their bouts around Europe and as far afield as South Africa.

Mitchell joined the club in 1983 and, when injury brought his own boxing career to a premature end, he was invited to help out on the coaching side by honorary secretary Ron Hagland.

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Since then, Mitchell – who received a gold award – has played an instrumental role in several Islington successes, including national honours for club boxers.

A club spokesman said: “JR and Jerry have stuck by the club through thick and thin and their loyalty is greatly appreciated by all.”

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