September 23 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
You have done our town proud!
You have done our town proud!
That was the loud cry in Lowestoft yesterday as thousands of people gathered to celebrate the achieve-ments of home grown Olympic boxing hero Anthony Ogogo.
And as the 23-year-old bronze medallist was cheered to high heaven, he received another enormous boost as his seriously ill mother, Teresa, came out of hospital to watch him take the applause in the town centre.
Yesterday’s celebratory event had been organised to recognise how Anthony’s boxing skills in reaching the semi-finals of the middle weight division of the London 2012 Olympic Games have put Lowestoft on the sporting map.
Anthony took to the stage in the town centre just after 5pm after he had been driven in a convertible car from Station Square with a police escort.
It was estimated by Waveney District Council that up to 3,500 people had turned out to see the popular boxer on his route.
And as he took to the stage a loud cheer erupted as people waved flags and took photographs of their sporting hero.
He said: “This is unbelievable. I feel so emotional. I never dreamt this was going to happen.”
The charismatic boxer also told the large crowd of admirers that Lowestoft had always been close to his heart while he was in London boxing his way to Olympic glory.
He said: “I have never missed Lowestoft as much as I have when in the Olympic village.
“There is no one place I would rather be than here.”
He added that he felt the people of Lowestoft’s support while in the ring and thanked everybody for cheering him on.
Describing his four Olympic bouts and the disappointment on missing out on a gold, Anthony added: “I gave it my all, that’s all I could do. I tried to make Lowestoft proud of me.”
The crowd responded with a large roar and there were chants of “Rio” as the boxer said he would box for gold at the next Olympics in Brazil in 2016 if he decided to carry on with his successful amateur career.
There was more emotion as Anthony revealed that his mother, who fell seriously ill with a brain aneurism before the games, left her hospital bed to see him become the toast of the town.
After the event Anthony told the EDP: “I was speechless as my mum asked if she could come.
“It was the first time she has been out of hospital, which was amazing. It was really, really overwhelming and emotional.
“Everyone knows how proud I am to be from here, and I wanted to make them feel so proud.
“We have a nice tight community and I feel great to be part of that.”
During yesterday’s ceremony, the mayor of Lowestoft, Nick Webb, presented the boxer with a Lowestoft coat of arms and a mayor’s certificate of appreciation.
Mr Webb said: “We are really, really proud of you.”
The mayor also presented a certificate of appreciation to Anthony’s Triple A Boxing Club trainer of 11 years John Cremin and said: “Without you, I am sure Anthony would not be standing here today.”
After his town centre appearance Anthony visited the Marina Theatre and then was paraded around Lowestoft Town Football Club, where he was given a standing ovation prior to their 4-1 win over Concord Rangers.