THE Oxfordshire boxing community has been rocked by the sudden death of inspirational coach Mel Corrigan.

The Berinsfield Amateur Boxing Club head coach passed away at home on Monday morning, prompting a wave of tributes from the village and beyond.

For years, Corrigan held various roles with the England Boxing and Home Counties Amateur Boxing associations, but his work with Oxfordshire youngsters from his gym in Berinsfield, near Wallingford, left a lasting impression.

The stalwart had just returned from last weekend’s England Boxing National Junior Championships, where he watched young Berinsfield fighter Skye Smith win her third title.

The Oxfordshire club posted on Instagram: “No words can thank you enough for everything you have done.

“(You) changed lives, made champions, changed lives and set up a legacy that we must continue with.

“Always in our thoughts, coach.”

Friends, colleagues and officials have shared their memories of Corrigan, who also volunteered as a judge alongside wife Marge at national championships.

England Boxing membership services manager, Lynette Mayo, said: “Mel was a very well-respected member of the boxing community and a good friend and listener.

“My favourite memory was when he first took over as registrar and I went down to his house to help train him.

“After a long, six-hour journey down and hitting lots of traffic, I arrived to find he and Marge had laid on cream cakes to cheer me up.”

Reggie Hagland, medical registrar for the Home Counties Boxing Association and a friend of Corrigan, paid his respects.

He said: “My thoughts go out to his wife Marge, son Lee and everyone associated with him.

“He was one of life’s good guys and someone I had a huge amount of respect for.”

Matt Halfpenny from England Boxing added that Corrigan was a ‘popular and well-known member of the amateur boxing community’.

There were more tributes from grassroots clubs across the county, with the Oxford Martial Arts Academy sharing a touching statement.

It read: “Mel gave his life to amateur boxing and helped many clubs and the youth fulfil their dreams within boxing.

“He will be a great loss to the amateur boxing community and will be truly missed by us all.

“Our thoughts go out to his family at this sad time.”

Details of his funeral will be released shortly by his family.