Royal award for judo ambassador Dennis

A man who has taught judo to more than 20,000 children and adults over five decades has been awarded a British Empire Medal.

Dennis Cecil Marshall, of Woodhall Farm, received the accolade in a ceremony at County Hall on Tuesday. Dacorum Mayor Bert Chapman, present at the event, described the 87-year-old as “amazing and inspirational”.

Dennis Marshall receives a British Empire Medal for his decades of service to judo in Dacorum.

Dennis Marshall receives a British Empire Medal for his decades of service to judo in Dacorum.

Dennis competed in the sport at a high level before setting up the Ovaltine Judo Club in Kings Langley, which transferred to Bennetts End in 1984. He also initiated the Dacorum Judo Club and still regularly teaches at schools.

Former pupil John Martin said: “He puts in a huge amount of effort, not just in running the clubs but in the organisation, too. It is fantastic, we think the award is really well deserved.”

Dennis said: “I did not know I was going to get it so I was very surprised. I may be getting old but I will work until I drop, I am going to carry on doing what I love.”