Hawick Boxing Club held its annual dinner and awards night at the Three Ones in Commercial Road earlier this month.
Although attendances were down on previous years, it was an action-packed evening with first-class food and entertainment which was second to none.
Billy Finn, who has been involved with the club since the 1960s, was recognised for his involvement as a boxer and coach, and presenting the award to his life-long friend, John ‘Jonky’ Sharkey, he said: “I can’t think of anyone who deserves this award more than Billy Finn.
“He is, without doubt, the best coach I have ever worked with and his knowledge of the game is immense. He has represented this club both as a boxer and coach and has been a huge asset to boxing in Hawick.”
Accepting the award, Billy Finn said that although he had taken something of a quieter role this season past, he was keen to get back into the gym for the new season: “Come the winter nights I will be back helping out in the gym.
“I’m always there to help and am happy to do so. I am never far away and the club means a lot, not only to me, but to everyone who has ever been involved in it. I really appreciate this award. It means a lot.”
Also making their annual pilgrimage to the event were three of the Borders’ finest fighters – John and Bobby Black and Alistair Laurie from Selkirk. This trio had more then 600 fights between them as amateur boxers in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Trained by Harry Hill, the Selkirk lads were always in high demand throughout Scotland and the North of England.
Speaking after the dinner, Alistair said: “We enjoy coming to the dinner and are always keen to support the Hawick club and what they do. This has been another great night. It’s always a good laugh and it’s good to see some of the lads again.”
Club president Eddie Brogan spoke of a club that has, over the last 50 years and more, consistently punched above its weight in Scottish amateur boxing, and a club that has produced many Eastern District and Scottish Champions at both youth and senior level, as well as an ABA champion and Olympic representative and numerous Scottish caps.
Jock Thorburn was in excellent form and after presenting his award, he entertained those gathered to a brilliant rendition of I Wish I Was Eighteen Again.
Other musical entertainment came from Dave Finnie and Drew Gibb, and the evening ended with the brilliant comedian Jimmy Stirling from Fife.