SAMURAI Judo Club is celebrating four decades of producing top class players and becoming one of the best clubs in the country.

Founded in 1979 by Andrew Haffner, who remains head coach, Samurai has become one of Wyre Forest’s most successful sports clubs, having won the Wyre Forest Sports Club Of The Year a record ten times.

Samurai players have won more than 10,000 medals, the club has produced more than a hundred black belts including three current active 6th dans.

Samurai's roll of honour also includes more than 60 British Champions, 12 British Kata champions, three Commonwealth champions, 14 World Veterans medalists, 12 European Cadet Cup medals, two Junior European Cup medals and two Senior European Cup medals.

Three of those last four were won by Kate Walker, the club’s most successful player, who also finished seventh four times at the Junior European and European U23 Championships, came ninth at the Japan Grand Slam in Tokyo and was twice reserve for the Olympics.

Two former members of the club, Kelly Edwards and Danny Williams, competed in the London 2012 Olympics. The club has won medals around the world and is only one of two clubs to win medals at the British National Championships every year for the last 20 years.

Olivia Turner being seven times British Special Needs Champion and seven times European SN Champion, as well as taking gold with partner Luke Mole at the European SN Kata Championships.

The club has had five competition controllers, the top grade of competition organizers and Samurai is the only judo club in the UK allowed to host major British events.

The club also has two international referees, with two more former members also reaching international level, and has produced many young referees as well.

On Sunday July 7, the Samurai will hold their annual get-together at their Zortech Avenue headquarters, starting at 9.30pm. All current and former members are invited. It should be a very memorable day.