Ian gets royal seal of approval

Droylsden Amateur Boxing Club's Ian Harrison has been invited to Buckingham Palace as part of the Queen's 93rd birthday celebrations. 

The prestigious event, which is one of three garden parties held every summer, is scheduled to take place on Wednesday afternoon. 

Her Majesty was expected be represented by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.

Ian received the honour after being nominated by Liz Norris, one of England Boxing’s directors, for his outstanding contribution to the sport in the local area.

Such has been his commitment to boxing, Ian won Coach of the Year at the 2017 Pride of Tameside Sports Awards.

Now, his efforts have now been noticed on an even bigger scale, with the invitation to Buckingham Palace regarded as the royal seal of approval.

Ahead of the event, Ian spoke to Reporter Sport and said he was humbled to be given the chance to attend such an important ceremony. “I’ve been invited because of my community work over the past number of years and the work I’ve done with male and female boxers” he said.

“I’ve never been before, so we’re going down on the morning and then attending the garden party from 4-6pm. We have to come home on the same evening as I’ve arranged a big event for Thursday night at Audenshaw Masonic Hall.

“We’re holding a night of boxing in a bid to raise funds for a new minibus, but to also honour the memory of club founder Charlie Grice, who sadly passed away a year ago.

“Charlie’s legacy is living on through myself, the other coaches and all the boxers who will be fighting on the night. It’s a nice way to say thank you, and as part of that we’re going to have the ten-bell-salute for him, which we do as a boxing community for people who’ve passed away.

Thursday's event is expected to attract big names including Anthony 'Million Dollar' Crolla. “Ant's coming down and Mike Oldham is also attending" said Ian. "He was one of Charlie’s amateurs and went on to win the British Heavyweight title.”

Professional boxer Kane Gardner, who also progressed under Ian, will also be lending a helping hand throughout the evening.

 The 23-year-old super lightweight joined the professional ranks just under two years ago and has since won all nine fights.

Ian said he’s been thoroughly impressed by Kane’s transition and expects big things from the Beswick boxer in the not too distant future. “He’s taken it like a duck to water, and his transformation has been great” said Ian.

“He’s had a couple of stoppages which has made people sit up and think. 

“Kane boxed at the University of Bolton Stadium on Saturday against Ben Fields and it was a really tough six rounder and what he needed.

“He secured a very good, hard victory. He’s now nine unbeaten and we’re trying to get him on the Hughie Fury bill at the Victoria Warehouse on Saturday 25thMay.”

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