Knottingley Judo Club made a presentation to long standing member Ken Cooper to mark his 40 years at the club.
A crystal trophy was presented to Ken, a 2nd Dan, judo coach and referee, in recognition of his outstanding service.
The surprise presentationn was made by the club’s head coach Ian Sidaway.
Mr Sidaway said: “Everyone at the club past and present would like to thank Ken for all his hard work and support that he has given to all players over the years.
“He has not only given us all judo skills but also life skills.
“Ken has coached a lot of judo players over the years. Some of those players have gone on to fight for Great Britain and a lot of them became champions at county level, such as Yorkshire championship and Yorkshire and Humberside.”
Ken was also the area coach for Yorkshire and Humberside during the 80s and 90s.
He was also a judo referee at tournaments far and wide and he is well respected in judo circles as a coach, referee and player mentor.
The chairman of Yorkshire and Humberside Judo Colin Cleavin and Yorkshire and Humberside head referee Alan Medley came along to help celebrate his achievement.
Players from the early days, from the late 70s up to the present, attended the presentation to celebrate Ken’s milestone
They came from miles around. Those who attended included the club’s original coaches from the early 70s, Steve Crossley and Robert Lownes.
Ken took over as club coach and later had help from Peter Simpson, who died suddenly in 2012. Peter would have been very proud of Ken’s achievement.
Ken is still involved with the club as president but takes a back seat these days to enjoy his retirement with his wife Gail and his family.