A boxer-turned-barrister was the guest of honour at a Wembley school's awards evening last night.

Alex Mehta, who captained Oxford University and England and was World Light Middleweight Champion, presented the prizes at Preston Manor School’s Upper School Awards evening.

The ceremony was attended by 150 pupils as well as parents and governors and was the first such event at the school.

Mr Mehta spoke about this own struggles and about the determination needed to reach the top of any profession.

His key messages to the students were ‘outwork the opposition’ and ‘pick yourself up when you fall’.

Tyrone Devereaux, deputy head boy, said: "Thank you Alex for motivating us all.

“We are all going to work even harder now.

“Too often people give up. You've taught us the value of nurturing and chasing our dreams.

“You've also reminded us to be good citizens of the world."

Headteacher Matthew Lantos said: "This was like our Oscars night. We invited only a select few with their parents from each year to shine a light on their success.

“Recognition reinforces hard work and I'm hoping other students at Preston Manor will be inspired to follow in these footsteps."

The evening also saw the return of former student Godi Panzout.

When he was in Year 11, Godi suffered a devastating stroke which left him able to move only his eyes.

Godi has since managed to regain his speech, some movement in his hands and arms, and is now able to walk a few steps.

He presented the Godi Panzout Prize for Valour to Tori Doughty.

Mr Mehta donated his fee to Medicins Sans Frontiers, a charity offering overseas medical and humanitarian aid.