Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Brain Scan Appeal by Brother of Tragic Boxer

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Brain Scan Appeal by Brother of Tragic Boxer

Article excerpt

Byline: LISA HUTCHINSON Reporter lisa.hutchinson@ncjmedia.co.uk

HE watched his younger sibling die after winning a fight - and now devoted brother of boxer Scott Westgarth has launched a campaign to make it law for brain scanners to be on hand at all bouts.

Heartbroken Adam has set up a petition calling for it to be a legal requirement that all boxing venues have handheld scanners available.

Scott, 31, from Prudhoe, Northumberland, collapsed in the changing room after beating Dec Spelman in an English title eliminator at The Dome in Doncaster in February and was taken to hospital where he later died.

Now, Adam and his family are determined to protect other boxers.

Adam, 35, of Stokesley, North Yorkshire, said: "From what I have read about them, the scanners do a 15-minute scan on the boxer's head.

"They send infrared beams into the head and they can detect a bleed - it shows up different on the scan.

"I am not trying to say having a scanner would have changed the outcome for Scott, but if there is something we can do to detect something similar then that has to be a good thing."

Scott, who trained at Glyn Rhodes' Sheffield Boxing Centre, worked as a chef at Sheffield Royal Victoria Holiday Inn and had just bought a house with his partner Natalie Kerr.

The former Prudhoe High School pupil was also a fully qualified ski instructor, and his points decision victory meant he was due to challenge for the English light-heavyweight title.

Adam launched the campaign online last week and already it has gained over 1,300 signatures.

He added: "The campaign gives us something to focus on. I am trying to do what I can for Scott's legacy and trying to follow the right path and help other people, just as he would.

"It's just something else to focus on rather than feeling sorry for ourselves."

Parents John Westgarth and Rebecca Marshall are behind the campaign.

John, 58, a former heavyweight boxer in the 1980s and 1990s who boxed for the European title, said: "Anything that helps boxers is a good thing. …

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