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Pride of St Helens: Hattons Gold Sportsperson Award - winner: Martin Murray
12:24pm Thursday 18th October 2012 in News
Knockout night... Martin Murray (right) is congratulated by Bruce Hatton of Hattons Gold (second from right)
HE has won boxing titles, been cheered on by thousands and earned plaudits galore - but the buzz of picking up the Sportsperson prize for his hometown was still extra special for Martin Murray.
The Commonwealth middleweight champion, from Fingerpost, got the nod from the judges in a year which saw him go desperately close to bringing a world title after drawing with Felix Sturm in Germany.
Murray’s determination to turn his life around after a troubled spell in his early 20s and his commitment to inspiring the town’s sporting youngsters were also praised by judges.
Murray said: “I can’t believe I’ve won it. Just before we came, someone asked me if I had a speech ready. I said no, because I didn’t think I was going to win.
“When I saw who I was up against, I thought I didn’t have a cat in hell’s chance. Making the top three was good enough for me.
“I love my town. I have a great family and support and I feel that everyone in St Helens is completely behind me. All I can do is keep working to reach my full potential and bring a world title home.”
“It’s been a brilliant night. We have a great town and great talent. Hats off to the Steve Prescott Foundation for staging it.”
Bruce Hatton, of sponsors Hattons Gold, said: “Supporting an award like this is exactly what Hattons is about, particularly because of our links with the local sporting community.
“Tonight has epitomised everything that is good about St Helens. I’m delighted for Martin. He really deserves the recognition.”
Paul Wellens, Saints’ widely admired captain who has enjoyed another stellar season, and Mark Eccleston, the former wheelchair tennis star, were both commended.