It was a golden moment for Sam Ernst at the WUKF European Karate Championships in Sheffield earlier this month. The 18-year-old from the Holcombe Brook area of Bury won the 18-20-year-old under-75kgs Kumite, to add another gold medal to the World title he won in Serbia last year.

Sam, who trains at the USKA Dojo on Hardman Street, defeated Romanian Dan Falcusan in the final. He also beat the two Italian joint bronze medallists during his three fights to become the World and European Karate Champion within his age group. He said: “It doesn’t get much better than that.”

“I am particularly pleased with this title, as I was only 18 the day before the championships, and therefore had to step up to an older age category for the first time.”

Sam, who currently plays football for Elton Vale FC U18's in Bury, where they won the Tameside League last year, is also studying for a Sports Diploma at Bury College.

As a result of his achievements he has been named as “The Bury Sports Achiever of the Year” by Bury Council and, as such, has been nominated for “The Greater Manchester Sports Achiever of the Year” award, which takes place on November 8.

Next year, Sam will be attending the Maltese Open in March, the European Seniors in Italy and then the World Championships in Poland next October.