A former Bradford athlete had a moment to remember last Sunday, after being inducted into the British Boxing Hall of Fame.

The event took place at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds and John Celebanski shared his crowning moment with 800 people in attendance.

In total, nine individuals were inducted into the Hall of Fame, with the Bradford star getting rewarded for his loyal service to boxing within the modern era category.

Calebanski, the driving force behind the Yorkshire Executive Sporting Club in Bradford, had 148 fights in his career both at professional and amateur level, while he also fought for England.

His commitment to the sport then resulted in him taking on and managing a number of up-and-coming fighters including Bradford’s very own John Doherty, who he coached up to British Champion level.

Speaking to the T&A, Celebanski said: “I’m delighted to have been inducted into the British Boxing Hall of Fame because I’ve put a lot of time and dedication into this sport over the years; it’s not something that I’ve achieved over night.

“I had 148 fights, some of them professionally, which was followed by a career in coaching, managing and directing within the sport.

“Although I still visit gyms and check in on some fighters, I’m not involved in coaching anymore and the decision to step away from boxing was something that perhaps needed to happen. I’ve done that now and I can look back at my career with great fondness. It was something that I thoroughly enjoyed.

“So, to be named in the Hall of Fame is overwhelming and I’m extremely proud.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: John Celebanski (left) inducted into the Hall of FameJohn Celebanski (left) inducted into the Hall of Fame (Image: Submitted)

Other fighters who Celebanski had promoted and managed during a 21-year period after his own boxing career included names such as Stephen Garber, Frank Grant, Carl Crook, Derek Roche, Mark Hobson and Dale Robinson.

And he admitted that the relationship between his former students, with some fighting out of the former Norfolk Gardens (Bradford Hotel), has never dwindled, when he said: “It was a great feeling knowing that I contributed to the success of these fighters throughout their careers. We had a great relationship and I was able to pass my knowledge and understanding of the sport onto them.

“I still stay in regular contact with a number of those fighters because I had them under my wing for a long period of time. Some of them are now good businessmen, which is great to see, and I can say it makes me proud to see who they’ve become today.

“For sure, I know I had a big and positive influence on their lives.”

Despite his new British Boxing Hall of Fame induction, Celebanski admitted that he doesn’t feel the urge to throw himself back into everything boxing related.

He said: “I’m quite content with my involvement in the sport; it’s obviously a lot less than it used to be. I will pop into the odd gym to have a look at the fighters and speak to any fighters who need some advice.

“For me, I’m loving going to the Anglers Club in Leeds at the start of every month, as they hold an event for the Ex-Boxers Association. There’s usually about 30 to 40 ex-fighters who attend each month and I go with my former fighters Stephen Garber and John Doherty; sometimes Frank Grant attends.

“It’s great fun and it’s just nice to catch up with old faces who all have a similar level of passion about boxing.”