Banbury's local legend Dave Earle thought his MBE phone call was a 'wind-up'
Since news of his award broke on New Year's Day he has received countless messages of congratulation and cannot walk in the town without being stopped.
"The reaction since has been crazy," he said. "The streets are quiet but friends and strangers are congratulating me every time we go for a walk.
"My Facebook account is in perpetual motion with message of congratulation. This is even a better response than the one I got when I carried the Olympic Torch. I cant wait to pick up my MBE medal. It will be a great day and I want to take Banbury with me."
Dave's citation for the MBE award is concentrated on the Tribus Group he runs and the charitable work he does.
"The Tribus group I run was set up in 2015 and was initially for people suffering from alcohol abuse, as this was was something that had had a big effect on my own family," he said.
"Tribus was set up when I turned it into a volunteer group to help anyone struggling with mental health problems. I use professional cognitive behavioural therapists and coaches and also qualified counsellors who all help free of charge for my talks which follow a 45-minute exercise class.
"I started these classes after working for three years for Turning Point and becoming a Peer Mentor. Last year I received a Points of Light award from the Chancellor of the Exchequer at 10 Downing Street for the voluntary work I do for people with mental health problems.
"I believe we save lives. We get people to see that life is worth living. I believe that by changing the way people think we can change the course of how they live their lives. We get people back to work, bring families back together and help people realise that although life can be difficult, it's often these difficulties that can shape them into become stronger.
"We love what we do. When someone thanks you because they have just gone shopping for the first time in six years it makes you feel great," he said.
Dave missed the email sent about his MBE and without a response, the Home Office called him at work at his gym, Spit 'n' Sawdust in North Bar, Banbury.
"I asked him if he was winding me up. He assured me he wasn't and asked me if I accepted the nomination. Of course I said yes. I had actually gone past the deadline date by missing the email but I filled the form in and was accepted. When it was confirmed I was so happy. I had arranged a zoom call to our children at 11am on New Year's Day to let them all know. They looked as much as in disbelief as I was," he said.
Dave was five-times Home Counties boxing champion and British light heavyweight kickboxing champion. He represented Great Britain in Budapest in the World Full-contact Kickboxing Championships.
He is an ABA Boxing coach and has run the Spit n Sawdust amateur boxing club since 2007, producing champions.
"I believe the club gives children discipline confidence self-esteem and self-respect," he said. "I feel lucky to do something that helps shapes people's lives. It has never felt like a job. I get paid for doing what I love. And it has been responsible for me becoming a town councillor, meeting the Queen, carrying the Olympic Torch and so many other things I have only dreamt of.
"I always felt I was just lucky to do what I do. But I do now feel proud. The response to what I have achieved fills me with pride.
"My dad was a professional heavyweight boxer and I am proud to be doing something I know would have made him proud."
* The Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) is awarded for an outstanding achievement or service to the community which has had a long-term, significant impact.
Investitures are hosted by The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and occasionally The Princess Royal in the Ballroom at Buckingham Palace, or in the Waterloo Chamber at Windsor Castle.
The Queen, or Member of the Royal Family hosting the Investiture, enters the room attended by The Queen's Body Guard of the Yeomen of the Guard. The National Anthem is played, and then the military band or orchestra continues to play a variety of music while the recipients are called forwards one-by-one, usually by the Lord Chamberlain. The Member of the Royal Family places the decoration on the person and congratulates them on their honour.