SHANE Thomas dedicated most of his life to the sport of boxing. His friends and family met with Tomos Povey to look back at his life.

AT the tender age of just 11 Shane Thomas had his first fight in the ring.

He boxed for six years and racked up an impressive collection of accolades, including one British title, five Welsh titles and four gold medals in the Pirkka Cup in Finland.

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(Shane Thomas (second from right) won many awards.)

Simon Weaver, the owner of Torfaen Warriors boxing gym, recalled when he first met the late Mr Thomas where he instantly spotted enormous potential.

“Shane first started coming here when he was not very old,” said Mr Weaver.

“He went on to become a very good boxer. He was good from a young age. Shane went on to win lots of awards.

“He had a very promising career. “

But Mr Thomas, who lived in Lower Race, Pontypool, damaged his hand when he was 17, meaning he had no choice but to hang up his boxing gloves.

However, he soon turned his attention to training the next generation of boxers at the Cwmbran-based club.

“He, alongside a few of others, trained his brother who has gone on to win his first British title,” said Mr Weaver.

“He was here most days of the week.

“He dedicated himself to train others in the sport.”

He added: "He used to really enjoy exercising here."

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Joe Thomas described his brother as “one of the best boxers he knew”.

"He was really, really good,” he said. “He was one of the best boxers I knew.

"He was one of the most gifted boxers in the travelling community. He was fit and very strong.

"Shane won so many competitions. He got involved in boxing because it is big in our culture.

"He has another brother who is getting involved in boxing now. He is going to be the next Shane.”

He added: “The world of boxing and our gym has lost a talented boy. He will be missed a lot.”

The 22-year-old was killed last week following an accident on the Penywain Road in Pontypool.

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(Tribute to Shane Thomas. Picture:

Police are appealing for anyone who witnessed the crash, in which a white Renault Kangoo van crashed into a parked vehicle at at about 7.45pm on Monday, August 5, to contact them. Officers have said they would particularly like to speak to the driver of an orange BMW driver which was in the area at the time, and have also appealed for any dashcam footage which may help with inquiries.

Mr Thomas was in the van, along with a 27-year-old man from St Melons, who was seriously hurt and taken to the University of Wales Hospital, Cardiff.

Contact police on 101, quoting log 500 of August 5.