Scrap metal businessman Dennis Hobson senior, aged 82, father of the fight promoter of the same name, died last week after battling cancer.
He was a formidable character – a one-time bare knuckle boxer reckoned to have had hundreds of fights as a younger man.
His family have now fulfilled his wishes to be cryogenically frozen, a procedure which involves suspending a body in liquid nitrogen at around −196°C. Some believe bodies could be revived in the future when there may be cures available for what killed the patient.
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There will be no funeral for Mr Hobson Snr, of Birley. He once ran gyms in Richmond and Darnall, was a flamboyant character frequently seen at ringside and was described by a pal today as a ‘sincere and loyal person’.
Now an evening to celebrate his life is being planned.
His son said: “The event will take place on Saturday at Ponds Forge from 6pm and in the absence of a funeral, will be a chance for people to celebrate his life.
“This has obviously been an extremely difficult time.
“Lots of people have been asking about dad’s funeral arrangements but, in line with his wishes, we’re in the process of having him cryogenically frozen so there won’t actually be a funeral for people to attend.
“Instead we’ve organised an event at the Ponds Forge for anyone who knew dad to come along and celebrate his life.
“On the night we’ll be sharing lots of stories, showing videos, having some amazing live music, playing some of his favourite songs and just generally remembering him.
“This will be an open door event and anyone who knew my dad, or who would like to attend is welcome to come along.
“It will be a great night, a fitting tribute to dad, and it would be lovely to see as many people as possible there.”
Another member of the Hobson circle added: “This will be the first Sheffield person to have been cryogenically frozen – he always did like to stand out in the crowd.”
Cryopreservation of humans is not reversible with technology presently available – but many people have faith medical advances will one day allow people to be ‘resuscitated and restored’.
While it is rare in the UK, hundreds of such practices have taken place in America.
Mr Hobson’s remains are thought to be in Leicester, before being flown to the United States.