Herol ‘Bomber’ Graham has given a chilling insight into his life-or-death experience.
The former Sheffield boxer has been in a London hospital for 12 days, after falling critically ill.
Frank Bruno and other boxing luminaries have visited him - including Sheffield’s former Commonwealth champion Ross Burkinshaw.
“He has been to hell and back” said Burkinshaw, who started training alongside him when he was 10 years old, in Sheffield.
“He had stomach pains and went to hospital but was sent home. Then his appendix burst, sending poison all round his system.
“He had a keyhole then open surgery and says it was a life or death situation.
“He told me he remembers ‘Knocking on a door- but there was nobody there’ - then he came round in hospital. Read into that what you will!”
Burkinshaw said Graham, 56, has always “been one of the fittest men I’ve ever known and was such a legend when I was growing up.
“My dad took me to see him doing a community exhibition at St Ann’s Catholic Club, Stocksbridge when I was about five, he became my hero then, so the least I could do was drive to London and see him.”
Graham, regarded as one of the best British boxers never to win a world title, has had to undergo a lot of pain” said Burkinshaw.
“He couldn’t stand up when I arrived, but he got stronger and we hugged before I left.
“He is so pleased people in Sheffield are wishing him well, and I know the city’s boxing community and others are hoping he has a full recovery.”
Graham (48W 6L) retired from the sport 18 years ago this week, after losing an IBF World super middleweight title against Charles Brewer in Atlantic City, New Jersey.