Sheffield boxer’s dream lies in tatters

Jack Battle, aged 20.
Jack Battle, aged 20.
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A promising young boxer whose dreams of becoming a professional were shattered when he was injured in a fatal car crash is urging young drivers to take more care.

Jack Battle, aged 20, spoke for the first time about the horror smash which left him with brain and kidney injuries and killed his friend.

The driver of the vehicle, Joseph Woolhouse, 19, was jailed for three years after he admitted causing the death of Lewis Shaw, 20, in August 2012 by dangerous driving.

Sheffield Crown Court heard Woolhouse was travelling at 67mph in a 30mph zone when he lost control and hit a lamppost and wall on Far Lane, Wadsley.

Jack spent eight days in the high dependency unit at the Northern General Hospital where he was treated for fractured ribs and injuries to his right kidney. He has since suffered nightmares and flashbacks and says the last 12 months have been ‘the worst of his life’.

Jack, who lives with his mother and his stepdad in Hillsborough, said: “I remember being in the worst pain I’ve ever been in and immediately wanted to know if I would be able to box again.

“I now understand that, with my kidney injuries, it’s very unlikely.”

Woolhouse’s insurers admitted liability for the smash, which means Jack can claim compensation for continuing medical care.

He must see a urologist every year for the rest of his life and the former Yorkshire boxing champ knows he is unlikely to fight again.

Jack said: “Boxing was my life and although I will never be able to train properly again, at least I will be able to get help with my injuries and can learn to do something else.

“Nothing will ever bring Lewis back and I hope other drivers learn from our situation and watch their speed on the roads.”

David Withers from Irwin Mitchell solicitors said: “This was a tragic incident in which a young man sadly lost his life and Jack was left seriously injured.

“We are working with Jack and medical specialists to ensure he now gets the care he needs.”