A DEDICATED boxing coach is to retire after 20 years of teaching.
Mark Field, 48, is standing down as chairman and head coach of Buckley Amateur Boxing Club to spend more time with his family.
The club, based on Drury Industrial Estate, will be taken over by John Crayton and will be turned into a fitness centre with a focus on boxing.
Mr Field, who retired on Wednesday, said the decision had not been an easy one.
He said: “It’s broken my heart.
“It’s a sad day but I have got family and it’s a big commitment to give up four days of the week to coaching.
“It’s just that I have come to a point where I have done enough, it’s a shame but it’s time.
“It’s been great, we have come through a lot together and the group feels more like a family than a club.”
Mr Field took charge of the club two decades ago from founder Johnny Mullen, who formed the club in 1952.
Since then Mr Field has seen a huge number of success stories coming through the ranks, including his own children, 21-year-old Katrina and Jack, 18.
He said: “My children were in the club and they coached here as well.
“I have worked with a lot of kids over the years, and some of them are men now, they’ve got their own families.
“We were getting a lot of kids from social services who come to get more social inclusion, people who have experienced terrible bullying and became stronger people because of being involved in this discipline.”
Mr Field, who works as a psychiatric nurse at Bowmere Hospital, Chester, had his own professional boxing career cut short by illness.
“When I was coming up as a pro I was supposed to be going to spar against Joe Calzaghe but it came up on an MRI scan that I had a cyst on my brain so I couldn’t box, so that’s how I got into coaching really,” he said.
And although the bell has rung on his time with Buckley Boxing Club, he still feels there might be another round in him yet.
He said: “I don’t think I’m going to stop and I might get involved with something down the line like a class with my daughter or something like that.
“They are both very good boxers and my son was involved in his first fight in Ireland so if I can help with his progression I will.”