A FORMER Wigan kickboxer is planning a day of entertainment at the Grand Arcade when he launches his new book.
Steve Taberner, known as the Wigan Hammer, reveals his battle to the top of the sport he loved and includes the many opponents he faced.
These days, Steve, of Hawkley Hall, works as a wedding photographer but the tales of his life as a fighter still live with him.
On June 30, he has planned an afternoon of activity in Wigan town centre, including an exhibition from a local karate club as well as some fighters from days gone by.
“It should be a great day, I’m really looking forward to it,” said Steve.
“Some old fighters I used to compete against will be there. There’ll be plenty going on and it’ll be a superb event for people of all ages.
“People can meet some of the fighters I’m talking about and we have a great exhibition from a local karate club.
“They will also escort each fighter and stay with them when they come out.”
The overall running theme of the book is a child turning to kickboxing to fulfil his fantasies.
One of the aspects Steve has received most praise for is the way he is brutally honest about everything he does.
“My editor has been really impressed with that,” he added. “I talk a lot about not just overcoming fears but confroting them too.
“One of those fears is the power of the mind as I firmly believe that it is the greatest fear you can overcome.”
Steve’s kickboxing career began in 1979 and ran for more than a decade before it came to an end in 1991. Remarkably, he didn’t require a trainer for any of the 12 years.
He was offered £250,000 to carry on fighting, but turned it down.
He took part in 33 fights and has helped coach up and coming kickboxing stars too.
The book concludes as he finally retires to concentrate on his faith as a Jehovah’s Witness.
Talking about the book launch, Steve added: “I’ve always been a bit dramatic so I want to do something in keeping with that.
“I hope we can get as many people out as possible for what will be an entertaining afternoon.”
The book launch will start in Grand Arcade from noon on June 30.