HOW gratifying it was to read about the long-awaited recognition for the local legend that is Mr Ian Irwin in your South Cumbria Community Heroes Awards (Gazette, October 17, 'Standing ovation for boxer').

Having known Ian all my life I am proud to say he never forgot where he lived. Even when he was made national/Olympic boxing coach, rather than go down South he regularly commuted from his home in Windermere.

I know from experience that many local lads owe their boxing careers to Ian/Bob Smith/Ted Sarginson. He is long overdue national recognition.

He is the original local hero. It is indeed an honour to know such a gentleman.

Malcolm Parker