DEVASTATED friends have paid tribute to a former Sheffield boxer killed in a crash between his motorbike and a car.
Thomas Bradley, 38, from Richmond, died at the scene when his black Yamaha was in collision with a green Ford Fiesta on Rivelin Valley Road.
Tom - dad to a seven-year-old son, Maximus - was a former professional boxer who ran Tough Guise gym on Hicks Street. He had also served as boxing champ Prince Naseem Hamed’s sparring partner.
He had worked as a security guard in Sheffield nightclubs including Embrace, and The Crystal Rooms in Chesterfield.
Today flowers, a pair of boxing gloves, a football, a Father’s Day balloon and a box of Coco Pops marked the spot where Tom was killed.
One tribute read: “Oh God, I can’t believe this is happening. It is so true only the good die young and you were the best.
“You were an absolutely amazing dad to Max and he is so like you in every way. I want you to know we will look after him for you and I know you will always be with him.”
Pal Mikey’s card read: “We will never forget you or that smile”. Another tribute read: “Heartbroken, devastated, distraught that we have lost you.”
Jef Robinson, 42, from Wombwell, met Tom 15 years ago when they trained at Woodseats Boxing and Fitness gym.
Jef said he was ‘utterly shocked’ to learn of his friend’s death. “It’s unbelievable, very upsetting. He was a brilliant bloke and a fantastic dad. He travelled round the world helping Naseem Hamed train.”
He said Tom - christened Matthew but known by his middle name - was on his way to meet friends at a motor show.
The crash happened near Rails Road as the Fiesta was crossing Rivelin Valley Road.
Neil Clark, 39, from Doncaster, trained with Tom at Tough Guise for six-and-a-half years. The gym opened in 2003 and catered for 50 budding boxers.
“He was a living legend, a brilliant guy. He got on with everybody and always had time for people,” Neil said.
“Tom was the sort of person who didn’t want us to be moping. He’d say, ‘That’s enough, put your trainers on and get back on the punchbags’. He lived to see his lads coming on as boxers. We all want to see it carry on for little Maxi.”
Tom, whose nickname in the ring was T-Bar, was a light welterweight from 1995 to 1999, winning 10 fights. He later completed a Journalism Studies degree at Sheffield University. Course tutor Jonathan Foster said he was “hard-working and articulate”.
The driver of the Fiesta, a 25-year-old Sheffield man, has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. An inquest has been opened and adjourned.
Police are appealing for witnesses to the crash on Monday at 7.25pm, and particularly want to speak to a group of motorcyclists, the occupants of a camper van, and a cyclist, all believed to have been in the area at the time.