A Rugby resident and maintenance worker will trade building repairs for the boxing ring as he steps between the ropes to honour a late friend and raise money for the hospice that cared for him.
Seb Neale, who works in Banbury, has signed up to fight on the Godiva Battleground White Collar Charity Boxing event at the end of the month and hopes his bravery will raise thousands for Adderbury hospice, Katharine House.
The events fundraise for Coventry based Georgies Gift and Myton Hospice but Seb has been given permission to donate monies made to KHH after caring for his friend Steve Bell who passed away from cancer earlier this year.
The pair met through work but their friendship quickly developed into a stronger bond.
Seb said: “I worked with him at Sanctuary for seven years, basically I had my first day with him and we became really good friends.
“My grandfather had passed away last year and Steve was really supportive through that.
“He was basically a second grandad and I used to call him gramp and he called me his company grandson.
“He had a real old salty humour and I’d come away from jobs just laughing.”
He added: “During his time in Katharine House I saw all the care they gave him. They are so attentive, they just go above and beyond.”
This will be Seb’s second Godiva fight but he is no stranger to the fighting arts having boxed in the army. There was, however, significant time between his army days and his first Godiva fight.
Seb said: “Toby, the guy who set up Godiva was seeing my partner’s best friend and they got talking at a party and my partner said ‘my fella used to box in the army, yes he’ll do it’. I hadn’t boxed for ten years.”
Seb raised £3,800 in his last fight through ticket sales and donations and he hopes to generate a similar amount this time.
He will be cheered on by friends, family and Steve’s widow, Christine, who Seb still keeps in contact with.
The fight takes place on October 27 at Coventry’s Alan Higgs Centre.
To sponsor Seb visit his Justgiving page.