A MAN who has spent his life in boxing has finally given up his gloves after 64 years.
Tony Reed, 74, first went along to Berry Amateur Boxing Club, in Langdon Hills, asakeen 10-yearold looking to learn how to fight.
Since then he has been helping hone the skills of young fighters at the club, before becoming both treasurer and chairman of the club, based in Valence Way.
Tony has been helped out in his endless efforts by his wife Maureen, 72, and claims he has done almost every job possible at the club down the years.
He said: “I’ve just enjoyed it there, it’s been my life.
“It’s good helping the youngsters and keeping them off the streets, more so these days as they have a lot of challenges.
“Boxing is a type of education for them. It teaches them discipline and gets them to follow rules and be respectful.
“Amateur boxing training has changed over the years, but our Berry ABC has not changed, our ethos is still the same.”
Tony, who lives in Elm Tree Road, Pitsea, has seen promising boxing stars move up the ranks, including former world light welterweight champion, Terry Marsh.
He has received a long-service award from the England Amateur Boxing Association, and another of his highlights was welcoming the Duke of Gloucester to the club in the Fifties.
Tony added: “Over the years we have wonatremendous amount of awards. We have had the best boxers in Essex here.
“It will be difficult to keep away when I have spent so many years there, but I wanted to takeabreak and spend more time with the family.”
Tony and wife Maureen were presented with vouchers to buy something they could enjoy during a special celebration with current and former boxers at the club.
Jo Waters, who works at the club, organised the send off, and said: “Tony and Maureen are a beautiful couple for what they have done for the community and who they are as people.”