COLIN Waters, a member of Newport’s best known sporting family, has died at the age of 74.

He was a leading figure in Welsh boxing circles and there weren’t many who reached the top flight who didn’t pass through his capable hands.

He worked as a compositor on the South Wales Argus for 38 years and was well respected and liked by everyone.

He was also a loving family man who leaves a widow Marion, three daughters Linzi, Meryl and Ceri, a son Richard and 12 grandchildren.

He was best known as an outstanding amateur boxer who went on to become an equally well known boxing trainer, British featherweight champion Steve Sims and Welsh light heavyweight champion Noel Trigg among those he guided to titles.

Among the eight Welsh champions he trained were Sims, David Pearce, Richard Avery and Frankie Jones.

Colin began his boxing career by winning the 8st 7lbs Wales youth title, then he took the 9st 7lbs crown before starting work with the Argus in 1951.

In 1956 he started his national service and when he played rugby for his battalion and boxed for the British Army, winning the southern command title.

The following year he became Welsh middleweight senior champion and won three more titles in 1959, 1960 when he lost in the semi-final of the British championships, and once again in 1963.

He succeeded his father Walt as Newport Sporting Club coach and he also coached the Welsh team at the European Championships.

He coached Newport SC for 41 years and put on many dinner shows, raising thousands of punds for charity, most notably the Lions organisation.

The Newport SC team coached by Walt Waters won five out of ten Welsh titles in 1957, Colin being among them and brother Glyn another.

In 1983 the Welsh ABA made him a life member, an award presented to him by Newport’s most famous fighter of all time, Dick Richardson, the former European heavyweight champion.

He finally retired in 2000 after nearly 60 years in boxing, but in 2006 he came runner-up in the Newport citizenship awards after being nominated by all the boys in his gym.

Tributes have poured in to Colin.

Steve Sims said: “I’ve never met a better man. He got me 19 fights and I won 18 of them, he was a shrewd manager and a brilliant trainer, he had some fantastic boxers and lots of Welsh champions.

“I’ve never known a man to have so many dinner shows, he even went to Jersey and Ireland for them,” he added.

“He’d put on one a month, he took all the stresses and strains and was a lovely personality.”

Noel Trigg said: “He was one of Newport’s greats, a tremendous boxer, one of the greatest Newport ever produced without a doubt.

“He was part of a wonderful family, he was a good lad and he boxed all over the country. You could talk to any ex-boxer and no-one had a bad word to say about him.”

Roy Chambers, former chairman of the Welsh ABA, also paid tribute to Waters.

“He was one of the gentlemen of the sport and he’ll be missed in the boxing world, his family will be devastated,” said Chambers.

“He was one of the best coaches and his club was the best in Newport, at one stage it was the only club here.

“I went to almost every dinner show he put on, he was a great man, it’s a sad loss.”

The funeral will be held at St Mary’s Church, Newport, on Wednesday, April 21, at 10am.