Boxing: Doncaster Lions rally for Plant Works club

Doncaster Plant Works' head coach Paul Harrison (centre) and assistant coach Kyle Fox (left) receive a �500 cheque from Doncaster Lions' Dave Theyers.

Doncaster Plant Works' head coach Paul Harrison (centre) and assistant coach Kyle Fox (left) receive a �500 cheque from Doncaster Lions' Dave Theyers.

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Doncaster Plant Works Amateur Boxing Club were knocked out to receive a belated Christmas present.

Doncaster Lions presented the Hexthorpe-based club with a cheque for £500 as a token of their appreciation after members helped with fundraising in December.

“The lads went round collecting donations when the Lions’ Santa Sleigh toured the town in December,” said head coach Paul Harrison.

“We didn’t expect anything because the Lions had some engine problems with their transport.

“They’d spent a lot of money doing it up and then with the breakdowns we didn’t expect anything.

“So when I found out that they wanted to make a donation it was brilliant news because it costs a lot of money to run the club.

“The rent on the building is nearly £5,000 a year – and we’ve also got other expenses, so the money is a big help.”

He added: “We have had good links with the Lions for many years and we used to put on the boxing at their dinner shows at the racecourse and the Dome for which they used to make a four-figure donation.

“It was a financial blow to the club when the event fell by the wayside because the only money we raise is through subs and putting on a couple of shows a year.

“We held one at Rossington Labour Club in October, which was a big success, and we’re running another show there on March 13.”

Later in the season Paul will link up with the Yorkshire ABA to stage a Yorkshire Select versus North-East Select memorial show to recognise the work of legendary Plant head coach Ken Blood who died late last year.

“We’ve got good links with clubs such as Hartlepool up there, and we’ve always supported the respective shows,” said Paul, who says not a day goes by without someone mentioning Ken.

“It’s a strong boxing area and they will provide good competition for the Yorkshire team and make for a good night for the spectators.

“I’m looking around for a suitable venue – somewhere different to where we host our club shows - whether that be somewhere where we can have food on or just put on a boxing show.”

Following the emotional circumstances of Ken’s brave fight against his terminal illness and his subsequent death, Paul, who plans to hang a big picture of him at the club, says that things have slowly got back to normal.

“We are getting a lot of youngsters around 13 or 14 in, which I’m pleased about,” he said.

“We needed some new blood to start coming through to replace those older members, some of whom will be looking to turn professional.

“The young kids have been inspired by what the Doncaster professionals such as Jamie and Gavin McDonnell are doing and also by (ex-Plant boxer) Danny Wilkinson (Maxi Hughes) who is now boxing on big shows,” he added.

“He still pops from time to time to train with the lads and he’ll be presenting the trophies on our next show.”