WHEN Commonwealth Games hero Jamie Cox returned home this week, gold medal around his neck, the first people he thanked were his coaches.

Islan Eltuyev, who gave him one-to-one coaching, was singled out for praise.

But, as previously reported, Mr Eltuyev and his family are facing deportation back to Chechnya.

Jamie has said that Mr Eltuyev deserves to be allowed to stay in Swindon.

And many of the town's leading figures agree, praising his contribution to the town since his arrival in this country in May 2003.

Islan, his wife Zarina, and their children Said, seven, Aslan, four and seven-month-old Angelina, have been refused UK residency rights.

Islan was twice amateur boxing champion of Russia.

Jamie, who trains at Walcot Boxing Club, said: "Islan has a lot of international experience. He was number one in Russia, which along with Cuba is the top country in the world for amateur boxing.

"He should be allowed to stay in the country."

Jamie's mum, Belinda Russen, 38, of Middleleaze, has observed the progress Jamie has made since Islan became involved in her son's training.

She said: "Jamie's come on leaps and bounds since working with Islan. I definitely think he should be allowed to stay.

Harry Scott, head coach at Walcot Boxing Club, said: "Jamie needed one-to-one coaching at the time and I asked Islan to work with him. He would be a good citizen in Swindon."

Islan's constituency MP is Michael Wills, who has met the family and had several meetings with Tony McNulty, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship.

Mr Wills said: "Jamie Cox's success is great news for Swindon and everybody is proud of the gold medal.

"But it also underlines the contribution that Mr Eltuyev is making to the community.

"I am certainly going to be bringing this to the attention of the immigration minister, Tony McNulty, to further underline why the Eltuyevs should be allowed to stay."

A spokesman for Anne Snelgrove said the Swindon South MP also supports the Eltuyev family's bid to remain in the country.

Swindon Mayor Ray Fisher, who will meet Mr Eltuyev for the first time on Saturday's open-top bus tour, said: "Why is it that people who fit perfectly into our community find the greatest difficulty in finding the support and papers they need?

"How can some people get British citizenship when others who are as nice as pie can't get a look-in?

"I'm looking forward to meeting him and congratulating him on his contribution to Swindon's first gold medal."

Mr Eltuyev, 39, said: "I want to keep working with Jamie and make him the best in England. The Home Office have written to me saying we might have to change home and live in a different town.

"I want to stay here but we are just waiting for a decision."

"We are worried that we could be killed by the Russian security services if we are sent back. They keep going to my brother's house asking where I am living and when I am coming back. He tells me not to go back."

A spokeswoman for the Home Office said: "We don't comment on individual cases."

Chance to meet Jamie

ON Saturday people in Swindon will have a chance to congratulate Jamie Cox on his gold medal.

And Jamie will be able to thank everyone for the support he received in his successful bid for Commonwealth gold.

The Advertiser is laying on an open-top bus for Jamie to tour the town on Saturday and the police have agreed a route.

The celebration has been organised by the Adver and Swindon Council.

The bus sets off from the County Ground Hotel in County Road at 11am.

It will then make its way along County Road, over the Magic Roundabout into Fleming Way, along Princes Street and Euclid Street, finishing at the Civic Offices.

Jamie will be greeted by Swindon Mayor Ray Fisher and presented to his fans on the balcony before enjoying a civic reception in his honour.

Special copies of the Advertiser will be on sale at the Civic Offices, including a special edition.