Lifetime award winner pays tribute to wife

Ted Harris with his News Sports Awards 2013 Lifetime Achievement award
Ted Harris with his News Sports Awards 2013 Lifetime Achievement award
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Behind every good man is usually a good woman.

And that is most definitely the case for The News Sports Awards 2013 lifetime achievement recipient.

Boxing coach Ted Harris paid tribute to his wife, Joyce, as he received his award in an emotional finale to last week’s gala evening at Fratton Park.

Harris recently called time on a coaching career which has spanned 36 years to spend more time with his partner.

In that period she has given support to Harris as he helped thousands of youngsters from all kinds of backgrounds.

Whether it’s been national champions or internationals, or lending a hand to boxers from the wrong side of the tracks, Harris has quite simply changed lives.

And he admitted it would never have happened without his wife by his side.

Harris said: ‘Winning the award knocked me down. It was so emotional for me.

‘My wife has been such a big help to me. I owe her so much.

‘I’d have boys stay over at our house as they prepared for championships.

‘They’d stay for up to a week so we can keep a close eye on their weight.

‘Joyce would never bat an eyelid.

‘There’d be boys coming back to my house all sweated up after training sessions.

‘She’d look after them all.

‘There’d always be a supply of towels and a warm welcome for them.

‘I’ve lost count of the amount of cups of tea she has made for them all over the years.

‘I’ve enjoyed every minute of it all and I would do it again.

‘But it would never have happened without my Joyce.’

Stellar names of the amateur game down the years like Johnny Creamer, Paul Dyer, Micky Driscoll and Jason Lepre all benefited from Harris’ guidance over the years.

It wasn’t state-of-the-art gyms where they honed their skills, though, as Harris passed on his wisdom at a subway and playing field near his Cosham home. Six of those people have gone on to national honours, four have represented their country, while countless others have collected titles at different levels.

All of those memories were to the fore for Harris as he followed in the footsteps of previous lifetime achievement awards winners like Milan Mandaric, Alan Knight, Gerry North, Jack Bishop and Harry Redknapp.

Harris said: ‘It was a shock. I couldn’t believe it.

‘I was lost for words when my name was read out.

‘Some of the old boxers I’ve helped over the years were there to see it, too, which made it special.

‘I’ve trained them for a lot of 

‘Paul Dyer achieved a great deal and was national champion and boxed for England.

‘They are doing so well and are on the England staff.

‘I think back to so many memories over the years and great times.

‘A lot of memories from over the years came back to me when it was announced.

‘People like Michael Driscoll and company, who have gone on to do so well come to mind.

‘It’s such an honour and a great way to round off my time as a coach in boxing.’