Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

McCrory Fights the Corner for His Sport

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

McCrory Fights the Corner for His Sport

Article excerpt

Byline: By Simon Rushworth

Glenn McCrory's meteoric rise from former boxing world champion to media mogul continues to defy convention. Now, as Simon Rushworth discovers, a fresh challenge awaits the would-be fundraiser.

Larger than life and with lofty ambitions to match, Glenn McCrory rarely does things by half. In finalising the first project to be overseen by the McCrory Foundation, a charitable organisation established to make sporting dreams come true, the former world boxing champion focused on a grand first gesture.

Having resolved to establish the Northumberland Amateur Boxing Club, he set his sights on purchasing a ring.

"I picked up the telephone to Frank Bruno and bought his old boxing ring," said McCrory. "It will be set up in Pegswood within the next few weeks and soon after we'll be up and running. If I don't groom a North Eastern boxer for the 2012 Olympics then I will have failed. I won't even have tried."

Such is McCrory's faith in the latent talent which lies untapped beneath the region's sporting surface, he is convinced future champions do exist on the streets of Pegswood, Prudhoe, Peterlee and beyond. But the Foundation will not focus solely on boxing.

"It's true our first project involves me getting back into amateur boxing but it's important that I work with what I know and who I know in the beginning," he said.

"I live near Pegswood, in Northumberland ( and there's a great need for new facilities to get the kids off the street. There's nothing for them to do, so I'm setting up a boxing gym through the foundation.

"I'm working in conjunction with Pegswood Miners' Welfare and they've been great. They can see the opportunity and they've been behind me all the way.

"The Pegswood project, which I'm going to call the Northumberland Amateur Boxing Club, is just the start. Long-term I envisage us offering coaching across a range of sports ( football, rugby, boxing etcetera ( but for me it's important that I start with what I know best.

"There's a need to get children off the street and give them something meaningful to do. They need to know that the support will be there for them to go on and achieve something in the future."

McCrory is the embodiment of an ambitious kid who beat the odds and went from the streets of Stanley to the bright lights of Las Vegas. But he readily admits his journey was an arduous one and obvious support was rarely forthcoming.

"As far as I'm concerned charity always begins at home," he added. "I want to help kids who are trying to do what I did ( pull themselves up to a certain level and compete. Looking back I didn't have too many people helping me in terms of financial assistance.

"Sometimes all you need is someone to give you a little boost and you can go a long, long way. If I'd had that help, then I might have gone a lot further than I did in the boxing world. …

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