Scott Westgarth death: Dad's heartbreaking tribute to his 'cheeky and perfect' son

John Westgarth pictured with son Scott.
John Westgarth pictured with son Scott.

Devoted dad John Westgarth has paid a touching tribute to his son Scott who died after collapsing following a boxing fight - describing him as 'unique' and 'perfect'.

Mr Westgarth was in the crowd at The Dome in Doncaster on Saturday to see Scott, 31, beat Dec Spelman in an English title eliminator.

But the Sheffield-trained fighter collapsed in the changing room after the bout and was taken to hospital, where he died in the early hours on Monday morning.

John, 58, said: "Scott was unique. He was perfect, a little cheeky thing. He was never no bother, I never had to worry about him.

"He could look after himself and I knew he would always be safe."

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

He was also a fully qualified ski instructor and his points decision victory Saturday meant he was due to challenge for the English light-heavyweight title.

John added: "I've got four boys and they are all different in different ways but Scott was something special.

"He was different in that whatever he did he was good at or had massive potential to good at if he put his mind to it. He had the potential to be good at whatever it was."

Scott, originally from the North East, didn't start boxing until the age of 24.

He juggled it around his work and home life and was quoted in his post-fight interview as saying he only boxed to entertain.

John said: "Scott dedicated himself to boxing. He wasn't a full-time fighter and still went out to work so who knows what he would have been like if someone had come to him with a load of money and he turned pro.

"That didn't happen for him but look we he did do and did achieve without that help."

John said he wasn't initially concerned about Scott's condition after the fight as he appeared unsteady on his feet as he had taken some 'big shots' from Dec during the fight.

"It was a tremendous battle between two warriors who both went for it," he said.

"It was very entertaining if you're a boxing fan and I wasn't really concerned at first. He did his interview and everything happened so quick. I got into the dressing room and he had been sick the doctor said to get him to hospital."

The boxing world has united in its support of John and his family since Scott's death and a fundraising page set up in his memory has raised more than £6,800 to support his family.

John added: "He had so many genuine friends. In life some of us only have one or two real best friends that would do anything for you but Scott had loads.

"On Saturday and Sunday night in the hospital, the place was packed. They have got three rooms for families to sit and the place was packed.

"I was not turning anyone away, I wanted everyone to be there at his bedside."

John thanked everyone for their support and also said he had 'full respect' for Dec Spelman and described him as a 'great fighter'.