The judges felt there was one outstanding nominee in Sporting Hero category at last week’s 2014 Doncaster Pride Awards - and that was Doncaster boxing stalwart Ken Blood.
Ken was made an MBE in the New Year Honours of 2010 and the ex-policeman has spent most week nights between August and May for the last 30 years coaching 30 to 40 boys.
He first put gloves on at the age of 14, starting out at Dunscroft’s Warren Youth Club, before moving on to the Plant Works ABC.
When he joined the police in 1962 he started fighting for the force team, reaching the semi final of the European Police Championships before hanging up his gloves. He began coaching at the Plant Works in 1971.
The amateur boxing coach, who has coached hundreds of young fighters in a career spanning several decades, was unable to attend the ceremony to collect his honour, but he received a fitting citation from renowned and long serving Doncaster sports journalist Steve Hossack.
Steve wrote: “It is great that Ken’s work at Doncaster Plant Works Amateur Boxing Club over many years has again been recognised and I’m sure will serve to boost his spirits in the final rounds of the toughest fight of his life.
“Ken, whose enthusiasm for the sport knows no bounds, has cemented the club’s reputation throughout the UK.
“The club has helped produce a number of boxers who have either won prestigious natonal titles or gone on to box professionally over the years.”
“Ken has never been one to just bask in the reflected glory of such boxers, and over the years has been just as delighted to see one of his run-of-the-mill youngsters pick up their first win.
“A father figure to many disadvantaged youngsters over the years and irrespective of their record in the ring during their time at the club, the vast majority turned out to be better citizens than would otherwise have been the case.
“Given his health problems over the last year, Ken was not well enough to collect his award in person. Hopefully the fact that Ken who continues to help out when well enough is acknowledged in such high regard by people of the town will prove to be of comfort during what must be a very difficult time for all. I certainly feel priviliged to have known Ken for so many years.”