As a young trainee sports reporter my first assignment was to talk to the town’s biggest sports star, boxer Paul Ingle.
Despite my nerves I soon relaxed in the company of the featherweight, who I had watched several times in boxing action on television, but had never met face to face.
This was a rare chance to chat to Ingle, as his stories and fights were covered by the deputy sports editor at the time, Mike Tyas, so I made the most of the opportunity and asked him about his preparation for his upcoming bout and hopes for the future.
Yesterday was the 14th anniversary of Ingle’s IBF world title win against Manuel Medina at the Hull Ice Arena, evoking happier memories of a time when we were lucky enough to have a world boxing champion and a professional football team in the town.
It has often been mentioned in the past that Ingle has not been fully recognised for his help in putting Scarborough on the sporting map by winning the world title (Ingle is pictured above celebrating with his hometown fans with the IBF belt at Brunswick Centre ).
For several years, the sports desk was dominated by reporting on Ingle’s rise through the ranks to the very top, and I would say he is the most successful sportsman to have come from Scarborough.
This made it all the more painful to see him suffer serious, life-threatening injuries after the defeat against Mbulelo Botile in December 2000, and this forced him to retire from the sport at the age of 28.
It is great to see Sonny Pollard, son of Ingle’s former trainer, put a lot of work in to get a gym/academy in Hull named in honour of the the Yorkshire Hunter.
While this is great for him it would be nice if his home town could also weigh in with such an honour for the boxer.
BY ANDY BLOOMFIELD