CLOCKING up almost 120 years of sporting experience, a South Lakes man says it is his love of boxing which keeps him active.

Dave Reynolds, from Glebe Road, Bowness, has been involved in boxing for 65 years and will celebrate his 80th birthday in May, but he says that will not slow him down.

Reynolds moved to Cumbria from Northern Ireland in 1949 and ran a successful club in Ambleside for 40 years, while he was instrumental in launching the annual Kirkstone Pass Car Pull 32 years ago.

The daunting three-mile drag up The Struggle remains a popular event today and he even helped out with water-skiing on Windermere for 20 years.

Reynolds said: “My brother once said to me, ‘your life is like a bicycle. If you give it a bit of oil it will keep for years but when you leave it up against a wall it will go rusty’. I guess it is as simple as that. I just have to keep active.”

As a 14-year-old Reynolds boxed in Belfast but broken ankles put paid to his blossoming career two years later and so he turned to coaching, timekeeping and refereeing.

Making a life for himself in England Reynolds worked at hotels around the South Lakes, meeting among others speed record legend Donald Campbell and King Peter of Yugoslavia.

Since setting up the boxing club in Ambleside, Reynolds has trained boxers from across the north west and went on to adjudicate for England at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002.

During his time looking after the water-skiing Reynolds also made it possible for children from the Ethel Headley Hospital to go down to the lake to watch the top athletes on the water.

In 2012 alone Reynolds has overseen 17 boxing competitions but says the sport has changed considerably since his fighting days.

He added: “My dad was a Regimental Sargeant Major and he always said the one way to beat a guy was never to stand toe to toe with him. He told me to never get in a corner but to keep running until they are out of energy and then take your chance. Boxers are more scientific now than they used to be.”