TRIBUTES have been paid to a former Burnley amateur boxer who met the Royal Family after winning a tournament at Wembley.
Jim Barrett, who spent the majority of his working life down the pits, died on Sunday at the age of 82 following a four-month battle with kidney cancer.
Jim took up boxing when he started working at the Bank Hall pit at the age of 16, fighting in amateur bouts in Burnley and further afield.
He won dozens of trophies and belts in his career, but his crowning glory came when he won at Wembley in 1949.
He was presented with his trophy at Buckingham Palace, but confusion reigns over who presented it to him.
His son David, 52, said: “He told me it was presented to him by the King, but he told my sisters it was Prince Philip, so we aren’t 100 per cent sure who it was, but it was a great moment for him.
“He never used to make a big fuss about his boxing career, he was very modest about his achievements.”
Jim hung up his boxing gloves shortly after meeting his wife, Doreen, at the age of 22, and they celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary in October this year.
The couple also had two daughters, Margery and Su-san.
David, who runs the Stepping Out dance school at the Candy Club, in Manchester Road, Burnley, added: “He was a fantastic person.”
After leaving Bank Hall, Jim went on to work at Hapton Valley before retiring at the age of 52.
His funeral takes place at Burnley Crematorium on Monday at 2.20pm, before a celebration of his life at the dance school, where his belts and medals will be on display.