THE future of a Doncaster boxing club is in doubt after the tragic death of the head coach at the age of just 45.
Scores of mourners, including many from the boxing fraternity, this week attended the funeral of David Croft, who died at home in Rossington from heart failure.
His death has cast a huge shadow over Doncaster South Boxing Centre, which was set up in the Holmes Carr Centre, Rossington, only last summer.
Assistant coach Julie Harrison is today appealing for male coaches to volunteer their services to keep the youngsters who have joined interested in the sport.
She admitted the club was not ‘sustainable’ unless volunteers came forward.
Julie paid tribute to David, who leaves widow June and daughter Katie.
She said: “Our hearts go out to his family. David’s death is a great loss to Rossington.
“He was very fit and lived for boxing. He had been in the ring recently complaining of twinges but put it down to muscle strain.”
David died at home despite his wife’s efforts to resuscitate him and a post-mortem examination confirmed his death was from natural causes, so no inquest will be held.
The boxing centre opened last summer with grants from Doncaster Council’s Youth Inclusion programme, St Leger Homes, the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, and free labour from HMP Moorland inmates.
Julie said: “We want the boxing centre to be an ongoing legacy to David but we urgently need more coaches. I am a qualified coach but the world of boxing is predominantly male and some of the big lads need a male coach.
“I want the club to be sustainable and more flexible but we need more coaches.”
Anyone interested in joining can contact Julie via the club’s Facebook page or at the Holmes Carr Centre on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6pm.
Mick Werritt, director of property services at St Leger Homes, said: “Our sympathies go to the family and friends of David, this is such sad news.
“David was a lovely man who did fantastic work with young people in Rossington.”
Proceeds of the collection taken at Rose Hill Crematorium will go to the club.