World champion boxer backs fundraising campaign for Brendan Ingle statue in Sheffield

Johnny Nelson with his former mentor Brendan Ingle (pic: Andrew Partridge)
Johnny Nelson with his former mentor Brendan Ingle (pic: Andrew Partridge)
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The family of Sheffield boxing legend Brendan Ingle are backing a fundraising appeal to get a statue of the great man built in his home city.

The former fighter, who died last month, trained four world champions from his gym in Wincobank and changed the lives of thousands of young people.

Brendan Ingle with his another of his old proteges 'Prince' Naseem Hamed

Brendan Ingle with his another of his old proteges 'Prince' Naseem Hamed

A campaign is now under way to create a permanent memorial to the man who left his indelible mark on the sport he loved, and whose contribution to the city went so much further.

READ MORE: Emotional 'Prince' Naseem Hamed comments for the first time after death of mentor Brendan Ingle
His daughter Bridget has teamed up with ex-sports minister Richard Caborn and former world cruiserweight champion Johnny Nelson to get the monument built.

They have launched an online fundraising appeal with a £100,000 target to commemorate his achievements with a statue.

Mr Nelson, who honed his skills under Mr Ingle's guidance, said: "The reaction to our plans has been wonderful. Some of the biggest names from the sport have said they want to support. They know what Brendan did for the sport and how he became a special individual to so many in the city."

READ MORE: Farewell to one of the world's most charismatic boxing trainers
Mr Ingle, who also coached the likes of 'Prince' Naseem Hamed and Herol 'Bomber' Graham to glory, was made an MBE for services to boxing and received an honorary doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University.

The campaign's organisers say they have approached Sheffield Council leader Julie Dore, who supports the idea of a statue, but a location has yet to be chosen.

Mr Caborn said: "The recognition in the form of statue would be a fitting tribute and a great way to remember Bren, who contributed so much to Sheffield and the world of boxing.

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"When was the last time we recognised one of our iconic, favourite sons in this fitting and appropriate way?"

Sheffield band Reverend & The Makers were among the first to call for a statue to be built, tweeting soon after his death that is 'has to be done'.

The band's suggestion was widely supported on social media, though opinions differed on where the memorial should be placed, with some suggesting it should go on the steps of Sheffield City Hall and others saying somewhere nearer the gym in which he worked his magic would be more appropriate.

Mr Ingle died in the Royal Hallamshire Hospital from a brain haemorrhage, aged 77. His funeral will take place this Thursday at 1.30pm at Sheffield Cathedral, where scores of boxing personalities are expected to be among those paying their respects.

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