Church offers venue for village venture

Pictured is Ian Gormley (left) and former boxer John Bolster
Pictured is Ian Gormley (left) and former boxer John Bolster

A CATHOLIC church has answered the call to house a new boxing club.

Standish St Marie’s have offered the embryonic Standish and Shevington ABA use of their Parish Hall in School Lane.

But the duo hoping to give something back by forming and running the organisation aimed at taking listless teens off the street have now set themselves a target of raising £5,000 to build a ring and equip it as a gym.

Former rugby league pro Ian Gormley and retired amateur boxing champ John Bolster from Standish say that they are delighted with the response from villagers and remain confident that the club will now be able to open later this summer.

Standish businessman Mark Ashley has set up a free website for the club at

Ian, who had a successful rugby league career with Salford, Widnes and Rochdale between 1982 and 1991, is now in the process of organising a charity concert at Standish Unity Club in the near future featuring a local band.

The were originally hoping for one sponsor for the boxing ring – but that may now prove too difficult to achieve in the current economic climate.

So they are now asking businessmen across Standish, Shevington and the wider area to offer joint sponsorship packages.

They are also looking for volunteers from the community to help them run the club.

Mr Gormley explained that he and Mr Bolster were having two sessions on each of the thrice weekly club night evenings (Tuesday, Thursday and Friday) along with one weekend session each Saturday morning.

The first will be for juniors up to 15 years old and above and the second will be for seniors (16 plus).

Mr Gormley, grandson of late NUM chief Joe Gormley, said: “We now have some premises at St Marie’s in Standish which has been kindly offered by the church which was first and foremost the most important job.

“A bank account has been set up and we now need to raise £5,000 for all the equipment.

“The time scale for opening is totally dependant on raising the necessary funding.

“We are trying to organize a fund raising night at the unity club in Standish, we are talking to a local band who will play and I will speak to the Unity club myself in then next day or so

“We have already got one local ex professional to help with the coaching so we obviously need more volunteers for both coaching and to help out generally with the running of the club.

“But at the end of the day we needs to raise the money for equipment before we can progress any further.”

Donation details should be sent to