By day he’s a hard-working hospital porter – but one night soon he’ll be pulling on his gloves and stepping into the ring for a boxing match.
Shaun Hill, aged 47, of Wincobank, who works at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, has a 13-week countdown to the fight – his first and, he says, only competitive showdown.
The dad-of-two coached at Sheffield Lane Top Boxing Club for 10 years until stepping down last year, but says he wants to help the youngsters he sees winning their own ‘personal battles’ with illness every day.
Shaun said the identity of his opponent will be unknown to him until the day of the fight, in aid of the hospital’s Make It Better appeal supporting its £40 million revamp.
“I’d prefer not to know who I’m fighting against – that way I can train with no apprehensions,” he said. “I’ve had a fair few mock fights, but I’ve only ever coached the kids to compete – I’ve never competed myself!
“I wouldn’t be taking part if the match wasn’t for charity, but it’s worth it. Every time I get punched I will just think of one of the poorly children and it will make me pick myself up and carry on.”
Shaun – who has two grown-up sons, Adrian, 24, and Shaun, 21 – added: “I first got into boxing when I was 29. I was taking my kids to taekwondo lessons and I used to stay and watch. When they lost interest, I decided to carry on – I started the boxing lessons and decided I wanted to coach.
“Some of the kids I have coached have gone on to win area titles, which is an amazing achievement.”
Shaun added: “Working as a porter at the hospital allows me to meet the children and cheer them up when they’re down. You get the same satisfaction cheering up a patient as you do when one of your boys wins a fight.”
The fight is in Bramall Lane’s platinum suite on November 22. Tickets are £10. Call 07826 544 100.