JERMAINE Jackson’s former bodyguard, Damian Glasheen, who runs a Martial Arts Academy in Crewe, has scooped an award in the most prestigious martial arts ceremony in the UK.

The owner of Cheshire’s TGA Martial Arts Academy has been inducted into the Black Belt Hall of Fame, awarded by one of the biggest martial arts publication in the world - Martial Arts Illustrated magazine.

Previous martial artists recognised by Martial Arts Illustrated include Bruce Lee and Jean Claude Van Damme, now welcoming Damian Glasheen to the Hall of Fame.

Being inducted into the Black Belt Hall of Fame is national recognition for work and commitment in the field of martial arts.

Over the past five years, Damian has grown his business into a thriving fitness academy in Cheshire, alongside raising his daughter as a single parent.

Damian, 38, was humbled to receive the award at the ceremony held at The National Brewery Centre in Burton-on-Trent in Staffordshire in front of almost 500 martial artists from around the UK.

He said: “This is an absolute honour in the world of martial arts to be recognised and inducted into the Black Belt Hall of Fame.

“I’ve dreamt all of my life about being inducted into the Black Belt Hall of Fame.

"As a school owner, you know it’s a success to get into the Martial Arts Illustrated Magazine, so to win an award is taking it much further. It’s a real honour.”

Damian has been practising martial arts for more than 30 years, teaching for 12 years before then setting up his first Martial Arts School in 2001. The booming business of TGA Martial Arts Academy now stages 14 members of staff who teach about 1,500 children across 12 locations in the UK.

Bob Sykes, editor of Martial Arts Illustrated magazine, said: “Damian absolutely deserves this award. He is a well established Martial Artist and should be recognised for this and his ongoing contribution to society through his teaching over the last 15 years.

“Damian works tirelessly to increase participation of marital arts across Cheshire and in doing so, genuinely increases the confidence and safety of the people within the community in which he works.

“I am thrilled and honoured to present Damian with the Black Belt Hall of Fame award.”