A Morecambe boxer has added a European silver medal to his growing roll of honour.
William Birchall furthered his growing reputation by coming up just short in his bid for gold at the European Schoolboy Championships in Anapa, Russia.
The 14-year-old cousin of the resort’s English featherweight champion Isaac Lowe lost out to home fighter Vsevolad Shumkov in Sunday’s 46kg final.
Birchall, formerly of Skerton ABC and now with Blackpool’s Sharpstyle ABC, has had a stunning year that also say him win the English Schoolboys’ title in May and win gold at a recent international tournament in Copenhagen, Denmark.
In Sunday’s final the stylish fighter shaded the first round against Russian Shumkov but his hard-punching opponent responded well to grind out the win, with Birchall always in the hunt for gold.
The silver medal helped the eight-man England squad finish third in the team event, Cameron Paul winning the solitary gold in the 38.5kg division.
Birchall’s was one of two silvers with the team winning three bronze medals.
Team manager Martin Webb said: “All of the eight-strong England team are to be congratulated on their ring performances in an extremely tough championship, winning 13 of their 20 contests.
“To put England’s performances into context, six of our eight boxers that didn’t win gold were eliminated by eventual gold medallists.
“From the 24 nations taking part, England were third overall on the medal table, which is a fantastic achievement.”
The only North West fighter in the squad, Birchall had earlier posted wins over Hungary’s Zsolt Zuro in Wednesday’s quarter-final before overcoming Nicholas Devlin of Scotland in Saturday’s semi-final.