STILL boxing at 78, after a lifetime in the game, Terry Haythorpe, from Huntingdon, who trained hundreds of young boxers over the years at Campol, the Cambridgeshire Police Boxing Club, died suddenly on Tuesday, June 19. He was fighting fit until the day

STILL boxing at 78, after a lifetime in the game, Terry Haythorpe, from Huntingdon, who trained hundreds of young boxers over the years at Campol, the Cambridgeshire Police Boxing Club, died suddenly on Tuesday, June 19.

He was fighting fit until the day he died. Known by the youngsters in the early days as "Mr Hercules" because he was so strong, "Tel" was known for treating everyone the same. Whether they were a disenchanted youngster or a high-ranking police officer, he would shake their hand and ensure they had completed a warm-up.

Mr Haythorpe, a former Army middleweight champion, in the Royal Scots Greys, was a volunteer at Campol for 31 years.

His daughter, Debbie, said: "Children would come up to him in Tesco's and shake his hand, because that's how he treated them.

"He was very caring. He had lots of time for everybody. He saw the good in everybody and he had the knack of bringing out the good in them, even if some people hid it well sometimes."

Mr Haythorpe taught both his sons-in-law, Ian Hellary and Jim Coppolaro, to box as well as his grandsons, Matthew and Ross. He also taught all four of his grandchildren to swim, including Sarah, 19, and Laura, 14.

His daughter, Sue, said: "He was a very hands-on grandfather. We couldn't have wanted a better dad. If we were going to work and the kids were ill, he would come over and look after them. All we had to do was phone and he would say: 'Don't worry, I'll be there'. Or he would say, 'fetch your little germs round here'. He never got worked up about anything. If we were cross, he would put his arm on your shoulder and say, 'It's not worth it'."

Mr Haythorpe and his wife, Dolly, 72, grew up as neighbours in the same street. They became friends as teenagers and they celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in March.

In 1967, with two small daughters, they moved from the Elephant and Castle in South London to Oxmoor when their employer Myers relocated from London to Huntingdonshire.

Dolly said: "He made youngsters feel they had achieved something and it put a smile on their face. He made them believe in themselves."

Mick Taylor, head coach at Campol, said: "Tel was Mr Reliable. He was the keystone of the club. He arrived from London and he said 'I've been involved in boxing and weight-lifting in London, can I help?'

"He was a very, very special person. He was my right-hand man. If anything annoyed me, he would just put an arm around me and say 'take a deep breath, Mick. Don't let them wind you up'. You couldn't ask for a more admirable person. I used to say that no one was bigger than the club - but Terry was Mr Campol, he loved everything he did."

Terry Haythorpe's funeral will be at All Saints' Church in Hartford tomorrow (Thursday) at 11.30am. The family have asked for donations to Campol instead of flowers.