GOLDEN girl Savannah Marshall admits she has been “overwhelmed” by the support of her home town since being crowned Commonwealth Games champion.
The 23-year-old Hartlepool boxer has been inundated with hundreds of messages of support and friend requests on Facebook since beating Canadian opponent Ariane Fortin in the final of the middleweight contest in Glasgow.
And in a further boost to the toast of the town, one of her main sponsors - Camerons Brewery - have extended their support up until the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
Savannah, speaking inside the Stranton brewery site in Stranton, told the Mail: “The support from everyone has been fantastic, really overwhelming.
“When I was at the Commonwealth Games I didn’t go on Facebook or look at the messages while I was competing.
“But I couldn’t believe it when I got back home and started to read through them all. I had 800 friend requests from people on Facebook alone.
“It has been crazy and I just couldn’t get my head around how many people were talking about me and wishing me well.
“At the Commonwealth Games I was just in my own little bubble concentrating on the task in hand.
“I would just like to thank everyone for their help and support and good wishes.
“Since the games finished I have been away for five days and have just been enjoying time at home with the family.”
The Poolie boxer - who will be guest of honour at Hartlepool United’s home match with Bury on Saturday - returns to work on Monday, heading back down to Sheffield where she is based for her training.
Then in September she is off to Kazakhstan for 10 days for a multi-nation training camp before a further training camp in Japan ahead of the World Championships, held in South Korea, in November – where she will be defending her title.
Softly spoken Savannah – who started out at the Headland Boxing Club - was delighted with her gold medal win which will take pride of place alongside the world title she won back in 2012.
Savannah, who hadn’t boxed for eight months going into the Commonwealth Games, said: “You can be the most confident person in the world that you have won but it can all go against you.
“It is different when you are in the ring because you never know what the judges are thinking but it was fantastic to get the win.
“It felt great and it was made it a lot better because it was my first tournament back.”
Her sponsors were equally delighted with the gold medal victory. Hartlepool-based firm Camerons Brewery have been one of her sponsors since May 2013.
David Soley, chairman and chief executive at Camerons Brewery, said: “We had no doubt Savannah would do well at the Commonwealth Games and we are so pleased she was able to achieve her goal of winning a gold medal.
“We first met with Savannah just before the London Olympics and agreed we would become a main sponsor after the games to help support her in further events throughout her career.
“We know Savannah was disappointed by her performance in the Olympic Games and to learn from this and go on to become the Commonwealth Games champion is an amazing achievement.
“Savannah has really done Hartlepool proud and we are sure she will go onto to achieve many more titles and medals.”
Mr Soley said the firm was “very pleased” to be able to continue their support until Rio.
Delighted Savannah, known as the Silent Assassin in boxing circles, said: “It is a relief to get the sponsorship boost because it was a two-year contract initially and you normally have to go looking for sponsors.
“I am really happy and it is nice that they want to continue sponsoring me.
“Hopefully, if I do well in Rio they will continue to support me.”
Civic chiefs have previously revealed plans are already in place to mark the achievements of the former English Martyrs school pupil.