Wigan veterans set to benefit from charity boxing night

John Harker
John Harker

Businesses and Wiganers will come together in support of the borough’s veterans at a knock-out charity fund-raising night.

John Harker, Wigan Council’s strategic manager for the armed forces, is putting on the night of bouts at The Edge next month.

It promises to be a high-profile affair with the evening including an England versus Scotland team competition and members of the Army’s own boxing team stepping into the ring.

Fund-raisers dedicated to the sweet science have proved extremely popular in Wigan, with Mr Harker previously putting on similar events for Wigan Youth Zone when he worked there, and it is hoped that the upcoming evening at the Riveredge venue will raise between £5,000 and £10,000.

Proceeds will go to the Veterans’ Welfare Fund at the borough’s armed forces hub, which keeps money available for former military personnel in crisis coming unexpectedly through the doors.

Mr Harker said: “I used to run the boxing nights when I was at the youth zone and it’s always a good night.

“We’re raising money for the welfare fund, which is really key to the armed forces hub.

“We get veterans turning up with problems like their cooker is broken and we can buy one for them.

“We can furnish a flat if they’ve just been given one from the council and we’ve helped with all sorts of things, including passports.

“We need to have ready cash so we can react straight away to support veterans when they come in, rather than having to wait and go through national charities which take a lot longer.

“The boxing night has a military theme and everyone likes supporting the military.

“I’m hoping to get between £5,000 and £10,000 and with a good wind behind us I reckon we can do it.”

The card of bouts has been put together by Adrian Fleming from Leigh Amateur Boxing Club (ABC) and there will be a bit of ceremony before the fights with Shevington X-Factor star

Olivia Garcia singing the English and Scottish national anthems.

Guests will be welcomed with a drinks reception and there is also a full three-course meal as part of the night.

The boxing night - at The Edge on Southgate near Wigan Pier, is on June 14 and tickets are £80 per head.

Places are still available and can be booked by emailing Mr Harker at j.harker@wigan.gov.uk