War veterans honoured by boxing champ

Marco Antonio Barrerra presents Ben Parkinson (left) and Craig Wood with World Championship medals for their bravery in the forces. Picture: Malcolm Billingham D0299MB
Marco Antonio Barrerra presents Ben Parkinson (left) and Craig Wood with World Championship medals for their bravery in the forces. Picture: Malcolm Billingham D0299MB

TWO Doncaster war heroes received a ringside honour when they were given a prestigious medal usually reserved for boxing world champions.

Military amputees Ben Parkinson, of Bessacarr, and Craig Wood, of Woodlands, are the first non-professional boxers ever to receive the World Boxing Council Champion medal.

The pair were presented with the special accolade by former world champion Mexican boxer, Marco Antonio Barrera, for their bravery while serving in Afghanistan at a celebration at Skellow Grange Working Men’s Club.

Ben’s mum Diane Dearnie, said: “Ben was absolutely over the moon. He used to be a heavyweight boxer for his regiment. Boxing has always been his thing.

“At the end of the evening, when everyone applauded, Mr Barrera said they shouldn’t applaud him but our soldiers that go out to fight for our freedom.”

Skellow Grange club president Steve Lock added Mr Barrera also visited cancer patients at Doncaster Royal Infirmary during his visit which was organised by Andrew Booker.

Mr Lock added: “Mr Barrera often uses club events to raise money for the ward.”

Paratrooper Ben, 27, lost both legs and suffered head and spine injuries. Craig, 20, lost his legs and part of his left arm while serving with The Rifles.

Skellow Grange club is also welcoming Mike Tyson on April 22.