IT is the end of an era as Willie Burns has closed the doors of his beloved Cardenden Boxing Club for the final time.

A celebration evening will take place on Saturday night as the club’s role in the community is remembered fondly.

Willie learned to box there in the late 1950s, and he went on to play a major role in running it for decades.

His dedication led to him winning Sporting Champion of the Year at the Dunfermline Press and Central Fife Times Community Champion Awards in 2016.

However, he has now had to step back from his involvement as a result of an eye condition.

A decision has therefore been taken to close it after many decades based at the Bowhill Miners Welfare Institute building, now the Bowhill Centre.

Saturday’s celebration event will take place at the former Bowhill Hotel - now the Queens Hotel - and WBO World Light Welterweight champion, Josh Taylor, is expected to be one of the guests on the night.

For Willie, of Silverton Drive, it will be a night of mixed emotions, having started his boxing career at the Cardenden Boxing Club in 1958 and then ensuring it kept going over many decades.

“I have found my ability to do every day things affected by the eye condition and since January I have been looking to find someone to take over running the club, but unfortunately the search has been unsuccessful,” he said.

“It is going to be quite an emotional night for me personally, as a number of former district and national champions from the club’s past will be there and also Josh Taylor, who was part of a team I managed when he won one of his first medals, has said he intends to be there.

“It will certainly be a night of sheer nostalgia.”

Willie began his boxing career in 1958, aged 16, and through the coaching he received there he went on to win many district titles and a Scottish senior title.

When he retired from fighting he enjoyed coaching young club members and also became a major figure in District and Scottish Amateur Boxing Association circles and a director of Boxing Scotland.

Indeed, he played a major role in developing youth boxing programmes which has seen the Scottish scene produce many successful performers.

Willie was particularly pleased to see the Scottish team collect three Commonwealth Games gold medals in Birmingham during the summer games.