DORCHESTER Amateur Boxing Club’s Ben Geyser admitted to feeling “elated” after lifting the Unsung Hero title at the glittering BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards.

Coach Geyser, who qualified for the televised show after landing the BBC South crown, gave an emotional speech on stage at the Liverpool Echo Arena after receiving his award from Liverpool Football Club legend Ian Rush and Everton skipper Phil Neville.

The judging panel, which included last year’s winner Margaret Simons and Olympic boxing gold medallist James DeGale, unanimously picked out 70-year-old Geyser from a shortlist of 15 for the Unsung Hero award, supported by Robinsons.

The volunteer impressed the judges with his commitment to the county town club, of which he is described by his committee piers as ‘the lynchpin’.

Geyser, who set up Dorchester ABC five years ago, has been coaching for 40 years, having previously set up boxing clubs in Portland and Swanage, and has been involved in the sport itself for 60 years.

But the Dorset man admitted his victory on the televised show in Liverpool was his greatest win yet in or out of the ring.

He said: “I’m absolutely elated. It has just all come around so quickly, I don’t know what to say. For a guy like me at 70 to win an award is amazing – and I know it isn’t going to happen again.

“I have had a great night. I never ever believed it would get this far and since I was nominated everyone has been full of support.”

Triple Olympic gold medallist Chris Hoy, who landed the overall Sports Personality of the Year award, hailed Geyser’s achievements, saying: “Without people like Ben all of us sportsmen and women here in Liverpool wouldn’t be where we are now.

“They are the true heroes of sport and I can’t say enough about how hard these guys work tirelessly behind the scenes – truly amazing – well done.”

Geyser is keeping his fingers crossed his national award will help inspire the next generation of British boxers to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Joe Calzaghe.

He added: “It is great that an award has been created just for grassroots sports – and hopefully from a personal point of view this can put boxing a bit more on the map.

“It is a really satisfying feeling when you bring someone in who sees themselves as a bit of a hard-nut and you teach them that boxing isn’t all about getting in the ring.

“Boxing has a higher profile now and hopefully I can help to produce some more stars of the future.”