Boxer Alan Rudkin collapses and dies in Liverpool

Alan Rudkin
Image caption Rudkin was a former bantamweight champion

Tributes are being paid to a boxing legend who died after collapsing in a Liverpool street.

Alan Rudkin MBE, who won a host of European and Commonwealth titles, was discovered in Mount Street in the city centre in the early hours of Tuesday.

The 68-year-old, from the Dingle, died in hospital on Wednesday. His death is not being treated as suspicious.

One of his good friends, Gerry Marsden, said: "He was a gentleman, a smashing lad, he was tremendous, he really was."

Police are appealing for information to help them piece together what happened before he collapsed.

He was seen in the Ye Olde Cracke pub, Rice Street, with a friend until 0200 BST. Officers are keen to speak to anyone who may have seen him between then and 0300 BST when he was found in Mount Street.

World finalist

Rudkin, a bantamweight fighter, was British, Commonwealth and European boxing champion between 1965 and 1970.

He was well-regarded on a global scale, and made it to three World Championship finals but never won the coveted prize.

Mr Marsden, of the band Gerry and the Pacemakers, said he was also a dear friend to his whole family.

"Out of the ring [he was] great fun. In the ring, [you had to] keep running because if he caught you, you got battered.

"What a lovely man and I am really upset about his death."

Rudkin's death has been referred to the coroner.

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