A BOXING club set up in memory of a marine who died in a car crash are going from strength to strength.
Tootill Amateur Boxing Club have just started a new training season, and the club is proving a real knockout with both new and existing members.
The group were set up in May last year and between the October 2010-May 2011 season, had 103 people through its doors.
Fifteen lads passed medicals and had bouts for the club, taking part in 18 bouts, with six wins.
So far this season, the Trimdon Colliery-based organisation have seen 75 boxers attend, with a record 34 people attending one training night.
The club, based under Direct Carpets in Commercial Street, were set up by top coach Alan Robinson and his son Brian, along with David Cook.
The Mail reported in March that Mr Robinson senior, 64, died in March after a four-year battle with liver cancer and just three weeks after being told he also had a brain tumour.
The club, which are registered with the Tyne Tees and Wear Amateur Boxing Association, are now run by David and his partner Michelle Robinson, who have vowed to continue Mr Robinson’s legacy.
Michelle, the club’s secretary and treasurer, said: “Last season the club went through so much being put together and losing an excellent coach and leader in Alan Robinson.
“I have had to learn a lot about boxing and running a boxing gym.
“I would like to think we are going to improve our winnings and make Alan and everyone proud but above all have fun, train hard and fight easy.”
This season, the club, which have recently enjoyed sparring sessions at Hartlepool Catholic Boxing Club and Easington Colliery Boxing Club, have registered seven lads from the Trimdon, Wingate and Fishburn areas – Jordan Young, Jordan Armstrong, Lewis Crowe, Darren Fox, Luke Chapman, Tom Summerbell and Daniel Pettler – as fighters.
The club were originally set up in memory 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 silhouette of Mr Tootill, who trained as a youngster with the club’s coaches before he became a green beret commando with the marines, can be seen on the club’s official logo.