A judo coach who began his career in the sport in Dinnington in 1958, is celebrating 50 years of coaching.
Keith ‘Tiger’ Brown is still going strong on the mat, despite getting his first taste of judo at the Falcon Pub in Dinnington in the year that saw Jerry Lee Lewis ride high in the chart with Great Balls of Fire.
The Rotherham man obtained his first dan black belt, under the leadership of Phil Milner, at the age of 25 after fighting against a line-up of eight men in the middleweight category.
Those were the days when judo was still a relatively new and unknown sport, so, to gain his gradings, ‘Tiger’ had to hitch-hike to London in order to train with the top-ranked people in the country.
He would set off on Friday, train on Saturday and Sunday and return on Sunday night.
In 1962, he started coaching at Sheffield Judo Club and soon took over the running of Rotherham Judo Club, renamed Rotherham Tigers in his honour, in 1976, and has remained chief instructor there ever since.
Now, at the age of 76, he wants to compete for his eighth dan.
One of his former students, Andrew Parton, paid tribute to the veteran: “He has just always been there teaching people in the area. He taught me from the age of 14 and even inspired me to open my own club.”
“He is such a character, always full of stories. Judo is in his blood.”
To find out more about Rotherhan Tigers Judo Club, email firstname.lastname@example.org