Review for Lancashire cage fighting club

Youngsters as young as eight and nine take part in a cage fight in Greenlands Labour Club, Ribbleton

Youngsters as young as eight and nine take part in a cage fight in Greenlands Labour Club, Ribbleton

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Councillors are due to review the licence of a Lancashire club which staged cage-fighting involving children as young as eight.

Concerns were raised about whether two boys were put at risk by taking part in a bout at Greenlands Labour Club in Preston in front of a 250-strong adult audience.

A video of the bout on September 10 posted on the internet showed the youngsters fighting without complete protective padding or headgear.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt condemned the event as “barbaric” and expressed shock at an apparent lack of restrictions on the activity.

The city council’s licensing committee will now determine if any licence conditions were breached, with a range of possible sanctions available, including revoking the club’s licence.

The council’s deputy leader, John Swindells, who called for the review, said he was “appalled” by the footage and was concerned about the potential for harm to the children.

The club’s licence permits it to stage indoor sporting events and boxing or wrestling shows but children must not be on the premises after 6pm unless attending a pre-booked function.

Lancashire Constabulary said it would not take action against the organisers as the force had “looked into this matter fully and there are no issues for us to pursue”.

Club owner Michelle Anderson defended her decision to stage the event.

She said: “The children were not doing cage fighting, they were just grappling. There was no punching, kicking or striking. The event was perfectly legal. There was only one fight for kids, which was a demonstration fight. The other fights were for adults.”