Community champion Dave Earle is reflecting on a landmark year as 2013 comes to a close.
The boxer turned coach turns 50 on Saturday and his popular Spit ‘n’ Sawdust gym in North Bar marked its tenth anniversary last month.
Coventry-born Dave set up the gym in 2003 after retiring from a competitive boxing career which saw him crowned five times Home Counties amateur boxing champion.
The inspiration for Spit ‘n’ Sawdust came from the early death of Dave’s parents.
Hoping to give generations of children the chance to have their parents around for longer, Dave set up the Banbury Bloaters men’s fitness class at Woodgreen Leisure Centre.
From here he rented the Spit ‘n’ Sawdust gym and set up a boxing club with the late Ken Reynolds, hitting the big time in 2009 when Banbury’s Rob Evans became British amateur boxing champion.
Dave has helped many Banbury youngsters from troubled backgrounds with his boxercise and boxing classes and was nominated to carry the Olympic torch last year.
With his trademark big smile he said: “I love what I do, I love Banbury, and I just want to keep on helping people as much as I can.”