Tribute to Stowmarket Lion Ernie Pearce BEM with memorial boxing tournament continuing his £250,000 charity legacy
PUBLISHED: 12:02 22 March 2017 | UPDATED: 12:02 22 March 2017
Hundreds helped pay a fitting and touching tribute to a dedicated charity fundraiser, boxing fan, and founder member of the Stowmarket Lions at a boxing tournament in his memory.
The first Ernie Pearce Memorial Charity Boxing Dinner took place at Debenham Leisure Centre on March 17, with more than 300 people turning out for the event.
Before the tournament a peel of 10 bells were sounded in memory of Mr Pearce, who organised 25 boxing tournaments for the Stowmarket and District Lions Club before he died aged 79 last year.
The four-time Lion of the Year, three-time club president and father of two daughters and three grandchildren was awarded the British Empire Medal in the 2016 New Years Honours list for his part in raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for local causes.
Rob Hale, press officer for Stowmarket Lions, said: “Over three hundred local business people, supporters, sponsors, friends, relatives and Lions – all in black ties – stood and applauded the great man.
“Fellow Lions and close friends Stuart Jeffries and Andrew Ward picked up the gauntlet and challenge of organizing this years Ernie Pearce Memorial Charity Boxing Dinner after he sadly died last year.”
Mr Hale said the boxing tournaments raised more than £250,000 for charity, with this year’s event already adding another £8,000 to the pot. The total is still being counted.
Lion Dave Thomas helped raise more than £650 by acting as a sporting memorabilia auctioneer for the night.
Mr Pearce’s daughter Rachel Featherstone awarded the Overall Boxer of the Evening trophy to Connor Daly from Islington Amateur Boxing Club.
Mr Pearce, who died in July 2016, has helped to raise funds for charities such as St Elizabeth Hospice, Suffolk Accident Rescue Service, St John’s Ambulance, Stowmarket Opportunity Club and many more since helping to found the Stowmarket Lions in 1980.
He was born in Bacton and ran his own building business. His love of boxing started during three years serving in the RAF.
He is also a founder of Bacton Football Club, as well as serving as a Bacton Parish councillor for several years and helping to form the Bacton Bowls Club.