Tributes to Welwyn Garden City boxing stalwart

PUBLISHED: 12:50 01 August 2012

Martin Calvert

Martin Calvert

Archant

TRIBUTES have been paid to much-loved and admired WGC boxing coach and club founder Martin Calvert, whose funeral took place on Monday.

The dad-of-two died of cancer aged just 40 last month, but will be long remembered for his tireless work at WGC Boxing Club.

Boxing coach Harry Carrick said: “He’ll be sadly missed and never forgotten.

“He was a good man for the community and getting kids off the streets and into boxing.

“He was a lovely bloke – I didn’t know anyone who disliked him.

“He proved that at the funeral, hundreds were there.

“You never saw him not smiling – he was that sort of guy, a lovely fellow.”

And fellow WGC Boxing Club coach Russell Kane said: “It’s a sad time for the club – he will be sadly missed.”

He said of the funeral: “They must have had to stop the road.

“They had speakers outside the church.

“There were literally hundreds of people – I’ve never seen a funeral that big in my life.”

He added: “He was a passionate, dedicated coach, who fed his boxers with his knowledge, experience and heart.”

Welwyn Hatfield Council leader John Dean, who threw his support behind the club as it fought to survive, and helped it gain funding, and permission to improve the premises at the Hyde Sports & Social Club, also paid tribute to Mr Calvert.

He said: “He was a really nice, gentle man.

“He was devoted to the young people he was coaching and devoted to the boxing club.

“He worked so hard to make that club a success.”

Cllr Dean also spoke of one of Mr Calvert’s proudest achievements – a Welwyn Hatfield Sports Award for Club of the Year.

He said: “After the Club of the Year ceremony he was so delighted, I’ve never seen anyone so happy.

“It’s so sad.

“He was still very young, still had a lot to do.”

The funeral was held at St Mary Magdalene Church, WGC, followed by the interment at Hatfield Lawn Cemetery.

The wake was held at the QE2 Social Club.


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