Tributes have been paid this week to Trinity Amateur Boxing Club president Len Wilkinson, who has died suddenly at the age of 79.
Len had been the Derbyshire ABA president for many years and only last year was the proud recipient of a National ABA long service award .
For over 40 years, Len had also become the voice of amateur boxing throughout the country, his exceptional skills as a master of ceremonies earning him respect and admiration nationwide.
He remained active into his 80th year and only recently had been the host at the Derbyshire ABA awards ceremony.
Trinity club leader, Scott Rafferty, said: “Although Len hadn’t been in the best of health recently, his passing was still a massive shock to his family and the boxing club and he’ll be mourned throughout the amateur boxing fraternity.
“He was a true gentleman and always immaculately turned out in his trademark waistcoat beneath his smart dinner suit.
“Ilkeston boxing fans were privileged to have Len as master of ceremonies for most of Trinity Boxing Club’s promotions going back many years. In all this time Len retained his reputation for immaculate presentation no matter what the occasion.”
Len first got involved in amateur boxing in the early 1970s as a committee member of the now defunct Draycott BC after being impressed with what the sport offered young people.
He later became an ABA judge and his talent for presentation saw him take the microphone to become one of the country’s finest and best-loved master of ceremonies.
Len became a member of Trinity ABC as an official with his wife, Rita, over 15 years ago and continued to make his mark on the boxing scene, with several top appointments at both local and national events including the Commonwealth Games in Manchester.
Scott Rafferty added: “Len will be missed on the local boxing scene and further afield as well as by the the boxers he introduced into the ring.
“He had a special smile and a word for every boxer to put them at ease before announcing the bout and treated them all with equal respect.
“Over the years Len was proud to see many of the young boxers he had introduced in to the ring become world champions including Prince Naseem Hameed, Carl Froch, Amir Khan and amateur Frankie Gavin.”
“Trinity ABC will be inspired to carry on and perform in his memory, and we’d like to send our condolences to Len’s family, especially his wife Rita.”
For full details of funeral arrangements, contact Scott Rafferty on 079 5656 5582 or view Trinity Boxing Club’s Facebook page.