A BOXING club set up in memory of a marine who died in a car crash has been recognised as part of a police awards scheme.
Tootill Amateur Boxing Club (ABC) was acknowledged during Durham Police Authority Community Awards.
Despite narrowly missing out on an award, police authority chiefs wrote to the Trimdon Colliery-based club praising their sterling work in providing local lads with a worthwhile hobby, and awarded a certificate.
The letter reads: “Although your nomination is not a winning entry, Durham Police Authority would still like to take the opportunity to recognise the excellent contribution that your nominee has made towards keeping their community safe.”
The club was born out of tragedy following the death of Royal Marine David Tootill, 29, from Jasmine Crescent, in Trimdon Village, who was killed in a road smash on the C26 Harrap Road, near the village, in November 2008.
The group suffered a further setback in March this year, when founder coach Alan Robinson, 64, died after a four-year battle with liver cancer and just three weeks after being told he also had a brain tumour.
Club secretary and treasurer Michelle Robinson, who runs the club with her partner David Cook and Alan’s son Brian Robinson, said: “We are so proud of being recognised by the police authority.
“I know Alan wanted Tootill ABC to be acknowledged by the police.
“Alan wanted to help get the youths off the streets, have a healthier lifestyle and to provide a group that they will respect.
“Alan wanted Tootill ABC to aim to have the highest standards as anything else would be disrespectful to the person he named the club after - David Tootill.”
The Tyne Tees and Wear Amateur Boxing Association-registered club, which is based under Direct Carpets, in Commercial Street, and has had more than 100 boxers through its doors since setting up in May last year, was recently treated to a Christmas party by Trimdon man Kevin Bostock.
The Hartlepool Mail reported earlier this year how Kevin, a 50-year-old heart attack survivor, completed the 140-mile coast-to-coast bike ride and raised £700 for the club.
The festive party was held at The Green pub, in Trimdon Station, and featured entertainment from local band Dirty Love and presentations to boxers Luke Chapman, Darren Fox and Daniel Pettler.