COACH of the year winner Brian Roche hopes the Grass Roots Heroes Awards are held for many years to come.

Roche fought for British and Commonwealth titles during his career and has since produced a number of national champions at his Burnley-based Roche Boxing Club.

And the former boxer believes such awards give young athletes a springboard to work towards.

“I thought the awards were absolutely brilliant and I really do hope they are held for many years to come.”

He added: “Events like these is a chance to showcase talent as well as highlight the hard work that goes on.

“From a personal point of view it was a great honour to win the coaching award.

“One of my young boxers, George Drinkwater, was also nominated and while he didn’t win, it was a great experience for him and it is something other kids can work towards.”