TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular pub landlord who brought amateur boxing to Langley Mill.
Coach Jim Allen lost a long battle with cancer on Saturday, May 6, but his legacy will live on according to the head coach of the boxing club Jim set up in 1994.
David Goulding, 26, of Station Road in Langley Mill, said Jim, who died aged 64, will be sorely missed.
He said: “There’s hundreds of lads that have come through these doors over the years. A few of them went on to become national champions.
“He got kids off the streets and taught them about self–respect.”
David, who was trained by Jim from the age of ten, said the coach was firm but fair.
“You get this image of a boxing coach screaming and shouting at people - but that wasn’t Jim’s way.
“He always encouraged you.”
Jim was running the Sir Charles Napier pub on Cromford Road, when he decided to set up Langley Mil Amateur Boxing Club.
He arranged for a £250 portable building to be transported from Wigan to the Queen Street Recreation Ground, which the club still trains at today.
“It was always Jim’s dream to see a club in Langley Mill for the youngsters,” said fellow founding member Peter Morgan, now the club chairman.
Jim, described by Peter as “fit as a fiddle,” was qualified as an Amateur Boxing Association (ABA) coach, judge and timekeeper, and organized a yearly charity run from Skegness to Langley Mill.