Blackpool wrestlers stage festival to aid orphans

A Blackpool wrestler has been out to Pakistan to help orphans.

All Asian Heavyweight Wrestling Champion of Azad Kashmir, Shak Khan is also staging a major bout at a festival in his family’s home city of Dadyal, where he will be taking on another Blackpool favourite, Dave Duran, who fights in Asia under the name Big John.

Dave Duran and Shak Khan out in Pakistan to promote the wrestling festival next year

Shak said he was delighted to be able to put on the fight in his family’s home country and money raised will go towards the Insaniat Foundation,a charity for the poor and orphan children of Pakistan.

He said: “I have wrestled all over the world it’s given me so many opportunities but I always wanted to wrestle in Kashmir.

“My wife Karen and I packed two suitcases full of toys, gifts, stationery and books to donate to the orphans and we went out with Dave.

“We did a big press conference in Islamabad to promote the Dadyal Festival next year on March 5. It is going to be a huge event. The stadium can hold 20,000 and we will have a collection for the charity on the night.

Blackpool's Shak Khan meeting orphans in Pakistan

“It will be a 12 round match, Dave is unbeaten and has always been one of my heroes, someone I looked up to when I was starting out, so it is going to be a great fight.”

Shak,44, met Dave as a young man hoping to break into wrestling. Training with Blackpool promoter Bobby Baron, Shak started professionally at the Pleasure Beach taking challenges from members of the public and met Dave there.

Dave also worked at Blackpool Tower as a shoot wrestler where he ruled the ring and regularly appeared on TV’s World of Sport.

Shak added: “It is great to be able to help the orphans, to give something back to the community. When we visited it was great to meet the boys and girls who were so excited and it was so nice to see the smiles on their faces.”

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