Blackpool youngster William Birchall is set to fly the flag the European Schoolboy Boxing Championships after a local business stepped in to save the day.
The 14-year-old is the only North West boxer to be selected for the England Schoolboy side to compete in Russia at the end of the month.
Based in South Shore’s Sharpstyle Gym, Birchall is one of just nine young stars chosen to represent England and is going for gold in the 46kg division.
After selection was confirmed, he was almost forced to pull-out after a lack of funding and sponsorship looked to have ended the boxer’s chances of competing, before local businessman Ged O’Mahoney step-in to pay for the trip.
O’Mahoney, a big supporter of the local boxing scene, runs Blackpool property firm Go Developments and has picked up all of the youngster’s father’s travelling expenses.
Coach Andy Abrol, who runs Sharpstyle, said: “William is one of the most talented and dedicated youngsters around and his call-up to England is well deserved.
“The cost of such a trip his huge so we’d like to place a big thanks to Ged and all at Go Developments.”
The nine-day tournament takes place in Anapa, Russia at the end of this month, and Birchall’s preparations are well under way.
As part of his training Birchall will fly out to Copenhagen today with five of his Sharpstyle team mates for an international tournament.
Nelson Birchall, Frank Vary, James Mason, Jake Abrol and Sonny Coates, all from Blackpool, are also taking part this week. Abrol added: “We’ve had an outstanding season with our young boxers, this week in Denmark will be a great experience for us all. Then all eyes are on the end of the month when William will compete in Russia.”