PUPILS and staff at a Newport school cheered their hero on to a Commonwealth Games silver medal yesterday.
Despite teenage boxer Sean McGoldrick being pipped to a gold medal by the narrowest of margins, Duffryn High School’s headteacher said the school was "immensely proud" of the sixth form student’s achievements in Delhi.
Around 500 students packed out the school’s hall to watch the 18-year-old bantamweight fight for glory on a giant screen.
John Lavender, 18, who played on the school’s rugby team with McGoldrick before he stopped playing to concentrate on boxing, described the atmosphere as "wild".
He said: "We were gutted at the end, but it was immense and before he went he said he wanted to fight and make a name for himself - I think he’s done that more than anyone."
Sophie Smith, 17, said McGoldrick used to be quiet and shy at school, but now everyone knows who he is and the spotlight will be on him when he returns to study his A-levels next week.
Headteacher Jon Wilson said: "We’re so proud of him, he’s a great boy and he’s also doing well in his schoolwork - we couldn’t ask for more, what an achievement for him."
McGoldrick went one better than former Duffryn High pupil Mo Nasir, who won a bronze medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
Yesterday’s final went down to the wire, with Sri Lanka’s Manju Wanniarachchi, who is 12 years older than McGoldrick, winning on countback after the fight ended 7-7.