Boxer’s praise for Gleadless Valley three months after horrific attacks

Steven Haywood, 60, from Gleadless Valley, takes part in the 1st Class White Collar Boxing event at Magna in aid of Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice. Photo: Sammy Lam

Steven Haywood, 60, from Gleadless Valley, takes part in the 1st Class White Collar Boxing event at Magna in aid of Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice. Photo: Sammy Lam

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A Sheffield man who stepped into the ring for a charity boxing match at 60 years old says he couldn’t have done it without his community.

Steven Haywood had nothing but praise for the people of Gleadless Valley after his bout at the 1st Class White Collar Boxing event at Magna Science Adventure Centre on Saturday.

Thanks to sponsorship he raised more than £1,000 for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice. Steven said it showed the kind of place Gleadless Valley really was, just months after a police officer was attacked with an axe and a woman was stabbed to death in the space of a week.

“The support I have had from Gleadless Valley is unbelievable,” said Steven.

“The event was about helping the kids at Bluebell Wood, but I really wanted to do something for my area. I had Gleadless Valley on my vest. It meant a lot.”

PC Lisa Bates is thankfully on the road to recovery despite suffering a fractured skull in an axe attack on April 13. Nathan Sumner, 35, of Plowright Close, Gleadless Valley, faces several charges, including attempted murder.

The day before PC Bates was attacked, 22-year-old Leigh-Anne Mahachi was stabbed to death. Colchester man, Douglas Furusa, 37, has been charged with her murder.

In the days following the attacks, the people of Gleadless Valley told The Star it was usually a friendly and quiet neighbourhood. And Steven, who has lived there since 1960, agreed.

“Every area has its good and bad, but everyone in Gleadless Valley had a kind word for me and I have never had a problem there.

“I love the people and I love the village. It really is a good place.”

Steven was one of two boxers on the night to receive a glove signed by Sheffield’s IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook for raising the most money. After 23 fights between amateur boxers, thousands were raised for the charity.

Steven thanked his trainer Ryan Rhodes and the Gleadless Valley Tenants Association.

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