A sporty Oswestry dad has swapped football pitch for boxing ring to raise £3,710 for seriously ill local children.

Boxing novice Richard Williams-Cooke trained for three months, lost two and half stone, and raised thousands of pounds to take part in a white collar boxing event last month.

The father of two says the challenge was an incentive to lose weight as well as to raise money for a local charity that means a lot to him.

“I watched a friend take part in a charity boxing match two years ago, and thought it would a great opportunity to get in shape." he said.

“I’ve always loved sport, especially football, but had never tried boxing. I threw myself into it, training every day and giving up alcohol. I was delighted to get fit, lose weight, and raise money for a wonderful charity.

“I know staff who work at Hope House, and families who have used their services, so I knew first hand how important fundraising is to support local families with children with life-threatening conditions.”

The boxing match, organised by Ultra White Collar Boxing (UWCB) took place at The Buttermarket, in Shrewsbury with more than 1,000 spectators. As well as winning his fight in two rounds, Richard also won the Top Fundraiser award for his phenomenal efforts in finding sponsorship.

As well as winning his fight, Richard also won the Top Fundraiser Award.

“I was aiming to raise £2,000 so was really happy to get sponsorship of more than £3,700, from friends, family and four local business sponsors: Urban Grill House, S Owen and Sons, Nicholas Llewelyn barbers and Saxon Homecare,” he said.

Support from the football community

Former footballer Richard has played with, coached and managed local teams including Oswestry FC, Chirk and Rhyl, and has received valuable backing from the sporting community.

“I played football from when I was young through to my mid 30s and have coached football teams in Oswestry and Wrexham. I’ve had so much support from many people. Maybe they just wanted to see me being punched in the face!” he laughs.

Richard relished the entire experience and is looking at training for another boxing match in November with the training regime beginning after the summer holidays.

Our fundraiser Vicky Bradbeer said: “Richard’s commitment to training and raising sponsorship was just brilliant. He understands how vital fundraising is to providing specialist nursing care and support to families who need our respite, crisis and end of life care. Thank you, Richard.”

Sponsor Richard