TWO clubs that joined forces to stage a boxing show in Northwich have raised £1,000 for a little girl whose home needs adapting to help her live.

A marquee at Winnington Park Rugby Club provided the venue for New Era Community Boxing fighters to demonstrate their talent against opponents from across the north west – some for the first time.

This second successful charity boxing event staged at Burrows Hill, attended by 280 guests, is now set to become an annual event.

Dave Snasdell, assistant chairman of Winningto Park Rugby Club, highlighted that other partnerships in the community are working well too.

“This was a great showcase of talented boxers from the local area. It is great to work in partnership with other sporting clubs in the community to see the excellent work that is taking place by many volunteers,” he said.

“We have had great support by Community Pay Back from the probation service who assisted in getting the event facilities ready for a fantastic event.

“As a club we are working with other community groups to ensure they have facilities to work from. including Weaver Valley Cycle Club, Winnington Hockey Club, a vintage motor cycle club and local brownie group.”

But on Saturday boxing was the focus, as well as boosting the Lillie Mellor Fund.

Lillie, four, who was born with a serious heart condition and has suffered complications since, was in attendance for part of the night with mum Stephanie Konca.

“The fund is to raise money to make Lillie’s life more comfortable, home adaptations and equipment to improve her everyday living,” said Mark Bebbington, head coach and owner of New Era Community Boxing on Queen Street in Northwich.

“She’s had numerous operations and lives in hospital quite a lot but the focus of the fund is on her day-to-day life at home.”

With such a worthy cause, the boxers were inspired.

Highlights included the first New Era father and son fights on the same show, friends who had their debut bouts, and clubmates who fought each other.

Billy Joe Hughes was the dad who won his first fight, while his son William was also on the bill and his friend Darren Bailey made his maiden appearance.

Billy Joe, who won the bout of the night award, and Darren got in the ring for separate fights after substantial weight losses.

“They first came into the gym last summer and I think they were looking for fitness originally and didn’t have the intention of competing,” said Bebbington.

“But once they started to get into it, and they knew about this show, as a club we set them a long-term target to aim for this show if they did want to compete.

“And that’s what they did. Billy Joe lost 25 kilos, about 60lbs, in weight and Darren about 12 kilos.

“The great thing with Billy Joe was that after the fight he said he couldn’t wait to do it again, at the same weight or at a lighter weight.

“He’s found a new lease of life. He didn’t really focus on weight loss at first, it was about coming into the gym to get a bit fitter and learn some new skills.

“He started to train more often, going from one or two sessions a week to three or four times. Leading up to the show he was in the club every day and really put the effort into it.

“He and Darren have known each other for many years. They’ve helped and inspired each other, pushed each other not to miss a training session.

“Darren didn’t win his first fight but he messaged me over the weekend saying he’s thought about it and wants to go again.

“He said he knows what he needs to work on and has turned it into a positive straight away.

“Sometimes it can linger a bit, but he thought about it for a day or two and had then started thinking about the next time which is a good sign.

“Two of our younger members Alex Humphries and Dan Bettley fought each other in a skills bout.

“Because there’s no decision, it means there’s no pride at stake, but they’d trained for it and earned the opportunity.

“It’s like sparring in the club but a new experience for them in terms of venue and crowd. They’ll both gain from it, so it was useful experience.

“All in all, it was a brilliant night.”

“The first charity boxing show at Winnington Park took place last year, it’s grown from that and hopefully it will be an annual event now.”

Ethan O’Sullivan was also involved in a skills bout, while Kane Farghalay won the fighter of the night award.

Bebbington said the boxing club is going from strength to strength.

“I originally set it up in 2011,” he said.

“I’d always done boxing and I’m from Winsford originally, but I used to box in Warrington and then changed to Kidsgrove.

“And I thought it couldn’t be right having to drive 15 to 20 miles to get a club. I was even thinking about going to Liverpool at one point, but doing that four or five days a week was a lot of travelling.

“So when I was coming to the end of my boxing career I thought why not have a club around here.

“That’s how it all started, and since then it’s been great. We’ve got another boxing club, MMA clubs, and it’s kind of gathering momentum in the area now.”

n For more information about the Lillie Mellor Fund, and to donate, visit