A dad-of-two who has battled cancer may have been beaten at a charity boxing match but he took away the prize of highest fund-raiser.
Stephen Grafton, of Penwortham, competed in Ultra White Collar Boxing (UWCB) raising £1,705 for Cancer Research UK.
For more details on the event click here /white-collar-wrestling-charity-match-in-preston-1-8800766
The 42-year-old, who trained at Larches and Savick Boxing Academy, competed in honour of his grandfather, Casson Grafton, who died of mesothelioma in 1998.
And in 2010, while living in Australia, Stephen himself was treated for a rare and genetic form of skin cancer.
He underwent major surgery to have the cancerous tissue removed from his stomach followed by plastic surgery.
Stephen, who works at BAE Systems, said: “I am the most competitive person ever, but this was the first time in my life I lost at something and didn’t mind. I was just thrilled to get through my fight and to have taken part.
“It was a brilliant experience and the day of the fight was amazing.
“The closest person I have lost to cancer was my grandad. He worked all his life in the ship yards in Barrow In Furness, where he came into contact with asbestos. I was thinking of him throughout the gruelling training. I would 100 per cent urge anyone thinking about signing up in the future to go for it. It’s a great way to get fit, takes you right out of your comfort zone and raises money for a fantastic cause.”
Launched in 2009 by Jon Leonard from Derby, UWCB was created to give people with no boxing experience the opportunity to train with a professional boxing coach and then take part in a safe but competitive three round bout.
Then in 2013 Jon incorporated his passion for Cancer Research UK, which he had supported for a number of years at Race for Life, and started using the boxing events to raise money and help fund research into the disease.
Since it began, 36,000 people have signed up to the events held in 100 towns and cities across the UK, raising £10m.
Ed Aspel, executive director of fund-raising and marketing at Cancer Research UK, said: “The success of Ultra White Collar Boxing and the amount of money raised is phenomenal. We are so grateful to the organisers behind each event, every person that signs up to get into the ring and the generosity of their friends and family who sponsor them. Together they are helping to fund our pioneering research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.”
For more information on mesothelioma visit https://www.mesothelioma.com/
For information on how you can help CRUK visit https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIo4qfloag1wIVE5kbCh22lgs4EAAYASAAEgKKQPD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=CJP84p2GoNcCFXYE0wodDCUGtw