THREE top Malmesbury sportsmen – boxer Joe Hughes and footballers Charlie Griffin and James Constable – have been honoured at a reception at Malmesbury Town Hall hosted by the Mayor, councillor Patrick Goldstone.

The ceremony was to commemorate Joe’s achievement in winning his first National Senior ABA title (light welterweight) at the age of 19, while Griffin and Constable have both won promotion to the Football League after fine seasons with their respective clubs, Stevenage Borough and Oxford United.

Now a fully-fledged England boxing international, Joe’s biggest achievement came in May with his success at the ABAs. Previous winners at his weight include future professional world champion Ricky Hatton.

Joe has lost only twice in his last three years and his other championships include Western Counties (eight times), National Golden Gloves School Boy Champion 2005, Junior ABA Champion 2006, NACYP Champion 2006 and 2008. Charlie Griffin started his football life in the extremely successful Oaksey youth side managed by Paul Neale, now chairman of Malmesbury Victoria. After leaving the Vics, he joined Chippenham Town and ten years ago he was snapped up by Swindon Town, making his debut in front of 40,000 plus at Sunderland.

He has since played for Woking, Havant & Waterlooville, Forest Green, Wycombe Wanderers, Newport County, Salisbury City and his current club Stevenage Borough – scoring goals wherever he has been.

James Constable learned his football skills in what was perhaps Malmesbury Youth FC’s most successful side under the management of Alan Baker and Pete Wright. He continued his football education at Cirencester Town Academy and in their first team before moving to Chippenham Town where he formed a successful attacking partnership with Griffin.

Subsequent clubs include Walsall, Kidderminster (for whom he scored the first two competitive goals at the new Wembley in a FA Trophy Final), Shrewsbury and Oxford United.

Known by everyone as Beaner, he played several times for a successful England C team and captained the side in the European Nations Championship Final against Belgium in 2009.

In May, he returned to Wembley, this time captaining Oxford United as the side gained promotion through the play-offs to the Football League.