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New fire chief proud of his time as Islington boxing coach

Andy Roe, who will be London’s new Fire Commissioner from January, was a senior coach at club in Upper Holloway

13 December, 2019 — By Samantha Booth and Calum Fraser

Andy Roe: ‘Islington Boxing Club was a very important part of my life, it’s a great club doing great things in the community’

A FORMER Islington Boxing Club coach has been appointed as the new head of London Fire Brigade.

It was announced this week Andy Roe will be London’s new Fire Commissioner from January, after Dany Cotton announced she will be stepping down at the end of this month.

During the Grenfell Tower tragedy, Mr Roe, currently one of the brigade’s two deputy commissioners, was the officer to revoke the “stay put” policy within minutes of becoming incident commander.

Locally, he is known for his time as a senior coach at Islington Boxing Club in Upper Holloway.

Reggie Hagland, club manager, said: “We’re really proud of Andy. But I have to say we’re not surprised he’s gone this far.

“He’s a focused man who is dedicated to service and loves his family.

“This really couldn’t have happened to a better man.”

He added: “Andy was a senior coach here from about the early 2000s until about eight years ago. He was known for his circuit training.”

Retired boxer Aaron Morgan, who was trained by Mr Roe for several years at Islington Boxing Club, said: “Andy helped instil a sense of discipline and helped fortify the work ethic. When I heard the news [of his appointment], I was very happy. Andy is well deserving. He’s a hard worker plus he’s a man of good morals and no doubt he will be a great man for the job.”

Mr Roe, who was previously a firefighter at Clerkenwell fire station which closed five years ago, told the Tribune: “Islington Boxing Club was a very important part of my life, it’s a great club doing great things in the community.

“It’s always been a part of the community. I’m very proud to have been a coach there and I look forward to getting back out watching them at one of their shows in the future.”

One part of Mr Roe’s new job will be to deliver on the recommendations of the Grenfell Tower inquiry report.

Ms Cotton was due to finish in April but it was announced last week she would be bringing forward her retirement.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Andy Roe is a hugely experienced firefighter and I’m really pleased to have appointed him as London’s Fire Commissioner.”

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