Coach Dave is the best in North West

Coach of the Year Dave Fitzgerald with his son and Lisa Whiteside at the awards night

Coach of the Year Dave Fitzgerald with his son and Lisa Whiteside at the awards night

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It has been a summer of success for Larches and Savick Amateur Boxing Club.

The Catforth Road establishment is still revelling in the glory of one its stars – welterweight Scott Fitzgerald – winning a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last month.

And last week, the club received further good news when one of the club’s co-founders Dave Fitzgerald – who is the father of Scott – was named the North West Senior Coach of the Year at a prestigious ceremony held in Manchester.

Fitzgerald senior – a reputed fighter in his younger days – has been an integral part of his son’s rise to prominence in recent years, which has also seen him win the National ABA title and be named on the GB podium squad.

He has also guided World Championship bronze medal winner and current European Union champion Lisa Whiteside to elite level.

Both fighters have high hopes of competing at the next Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

As well as the work he has done with his son and Whiteside, Fitzgerald is also in charge of coaching the club’s juniors.

Fifteen-year-old Bria Fielding has just been named on the GB youth squad and the club has high hopes for a number of other youngsters on its books.

“I wasn’t expecting to win the award to be honest,” said Fitzgerald, who runs the club alongside Joe Kilshaw and Jimmy Moon.

“It is a great honour to receive as there are other coaches across the region with incredible credentials.

“The award is not just for me – it’s for the club.

“When many clubs would be proud to have just one member part of the GB set up, it is quite something for us that we have three members in the squad.

“It is a great reflection of the quality of coaching here from all the coaches.”

Club treasurer Mark Jewell said: “The North West Region is the largest region in England covering the Counties of Cheshire, Cumbria. Greater Manchester, Isle of Man, Lancashire and Tameside, with a total of 96 England Boxing affiliated clubs.

“So for Dave to win the award is a terrific achievement.”

In the audience to see him win the award were other respected North West trainers, including Bolton’s Mick Jelley, who coached Amir Khan to an Olympic silver medal, Burnley’s Brian Roche and Martin Lynch, of Middleton.

Scott Fitzgerald and Whiteside also received awards at the presentation night to recognise their achievements this year.

Whiteside is currently in Kazakhstan on a GB training camp preparing for the Women’s World Boxing Championships in South Korea later this year.