Bridge Integrated Primary School has presented Carl Frampton with a farewell gift at a special assembly as the world champion boxer says goodbye to the Banbridge area.
Frampton, who has now moved out of Banbridge, attended the assembly with his wife Christine, his daughter Carla and son Rossa and was asked to accept a special token of thanks from the school.
This was presented to him after he visited the school, which his daughter attended while they lived in Banbridge, during Integrated Education week to celebrate harmony.
Carl talked to the children at Bridge IPS at two assemblies during his visit that week, where he explained to them that boxing afforded him the chance to meet people from both communities, train in different gyms and develop friendships beyond his immediate home environment.
He told the children that this helped to prevent him developing a bitter attitude towards others of a different religious and cultural background, which was a problem for young people in both communities at the time he was growing up.
Principal of Bridge IPS, Mrs Devlin, commissioned past pupil Tara Curran to create a special picture of a boxing glove entwined with the school tie.
A spokesperson for the school said: “Carl was delighted to accept this lovely picture and was quite emotional as this was also, sadly, Carla’s last day in our school, as they are moving away from Banbridge.
“We wish the whole family much happiness in their new home and hope that Carla enjoys her new school.”
Bus Bar owner Ciaran Lennon said the town would “certainly miss having a sporting celebrity around.”
He said: “He was into the bar a few times. He gave us some signed gloves for a charity draw we had and then presented a pair of signed gloves to myself for the bar.”
The Downshire Arms Hotel, where Frampton was known to be a regular, also got in on the act.
They tweeted: “Wishing Carl, Christine, Carla and Baby Rossa Frampton All The Very Best On Their Big Move!!!! The Downshire Have Loved Having You! Don’t Be Strangers....From All Your Proud Supporters @The Downshire!”Frampton’s luxury home, which was just outside Banbridge, was put on the market in August.
At the time, the world champion boxer said he was intending to move back to his home-town of Belfast to be closer to family.
With the undefeated champion’s training schedule taking him out of the country for lengthy spells, the rural location was proving just a little too quiet for wife Christine.