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John went to London to see the Queen

A MAN who was born and bred in Macclesfield has recently had a date with the Queen.

A MAN who was born and bred in Macclesfield has recently had a date with the Queen.

John Hanrahan, who used to live in Upton Priory, has been awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Services.

John, 48, is the manager of Ferndown Ju-Jitsu Club near Bournemouth, and went to St Albans and All Hallows schools before leaving Macclesfield in 1978 to join the Army.

He said: "I joined the Army to see the world, to meet new people and go to exotic places."

And he certainly did that having served in the Falkland Islands during the conflict and also in Northern Ireland, Cyprus and Croatia to name a few.

John left the forces in 1994 and now lives in Ferndown where he works for Shell Aviation.

However, his mum Mary Corris, 79, still lives in Upton Priory and is immensly proud of her son's achievements.

The father-of two said: "I have been involved in martial arts since I was about 15 in the Bruce Lee era and it came in handy when I was in the army as it gave me the option to be a physical training instructor."

He left the army after 18 years as the lifestyle may have suited a bachelor, but not a family man with a son Robert, 16, and Georgia, ten.

It was then that John really became involved in the Ferndown Ju-Jitsu Club, which has gone from strength to strength winning countless awards and competitions.

The club even has links to Macclesfield Boys Boxing Club, where his nephew Liam, is a member and the Macclesfield Jitsu Club where John is hoping to drop in on his way to a competition in Bradford in September.

John found out that he had been nominated for the award in June and visited Buckingham Palace with his wife Christine, and Dave and Paula Williams from Ferndown Jitsu Club.

He said: "We were formally introduced to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by the Queen's Usher's Captain Michael Fulford-Dobson, Hugh Rolf and the Lord Chamberlain at the Queen's Garden Party.

"Well it just doesn't get any better than this, Her Majesty was genuinely interested in all the voluntary community work that we do with the young people from Ferndown in Dorset and she talked to our group for several minutes.

"I would like to say thank you to all the people that have helped and supported the Ferndown Jitsu Club over the last seven years."

 

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